San Diego police have arrested hundreds of kids in recent years by conducting regular curfew sweeps in the city’s urban core.
The sweeps have been widely publicized since their inception. What hasn’t received much attention is the decreased use of curfew enforcement almost everywhere else. While arrests have climbed in San Diego, they’ve fallen substantially across the state and nation.
I discovered that contrast last month while working on an in-depth story about the impact of the sweeps on crime. Our story questioned whether sweeps are indeed related to a recent decline in crime. Police here are effectively arresting hundreds of kids on an unproven hunch.
I mentioned the statewide comparison briefly in my story but thought it deserved revisiting. The graphic above illustrates how many kids were arrested for violating curfew laws across the state and in San Diego.
In 2007, about one in every 20 kids in the state was booked in San Diego — a proportional amount to the city’s population. Just three years later, the gap narrowed to about one in five.