Shoppers react to Northwoods Mall's new policy on unattended youth weekend policy

VIDEO: Shoppers react to Northwoods Mall's new policy on unattended youth weekend policy

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Unattended youth at Northwoods Mall will have new rules to follow starting next month.

As part of the Youth Escort Policy, people who are below the age of 18 will have to be with a guardian that is at least 21 on Friday and Saturday nights after 6 p.m.

Some parents think it's a good idea.

"It's going to make it a safer area and cut down on the crime," a parent, Mandy Killiri said.

Zachary Echipare is 15 years old. He says him mom would think it was a good idea, but he's not in favor the restrictions.

"It kind of makes me mad because I can't just come and chill with my friends," Echipare said.

He said the weekend is usually the time he hangs out with friends at the mall, but he will start bringing his mom along or find another place to hang out when the rule goes into effect.

"I didn't see the point in it because it's not like we're causing trouble, I mean yeah some kids fight in here over some dumb stuff," Echipare said.

Mall officials say the policy is a way to cut down on weekend disturbances.

"I hope everything works out with this program, that they have and the kids understand from an adult perspective of it and don't think they're trying to punish them, actually their trying to protect them," parent, John Vinson said

The policy is in response to feedback from the business leaders, local government and the community.

"I would be more secure knowing that the mall will be secure when my 17-year-old comes to socialize with friends or just doing shopping in general,"parent, Pritchenelia Frasier said.

Mall officials say security guards will enforce the policy. They will ask for an ID if they suspect someone is not following the rules. Violaters will monitored until a guardian can join them.

"It's kind of hard because it does give the kids a place to be that's a safe environment but at the same time as a family when we come to the mall sometimes we don't feel safe or we see unattended teenagers walking around," Killiri said.

The Youth Escort Policy will start on Friday September 16. Teens employed at the mall below the age of 18 will be issued special IDs so they can still get to work.

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