PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Crime this past summer has terrorized Prince George’s County with August being the deadliest month in county history.
With a mandated curfew for youth implemented on Sept. 9th, crimes like carjackings, murders, robberies and non-fatal shootings have plummeted 64 percent through Sept. 26. county officials said.
But residents said they aren’t feeling the crime dip. Some have questioned the numbers given violent crime still happening around them and making headlines.
Prince Hamn is the executive director of M.A.D. Making a Difference, a non-profit charitable organization that mentors young people in the county.
While acknowledging that the numbers have dropped since the curfew has been in place, Hamn said “we know a lot of numbers probably have changed” because teenagers are back in school.
“I’m never going to disrespect the numbers but at the same time we know that crime is still prevalent in the community,” he said. “With the curfew, it’s just happening a little bit more earlier. A lot of people are not feeling safe because the crime is still happening.”
Hamn recounts specific acts of crime like a rapid football fan can recite scores on Sunday.
“People are still making crimes inside the daytime,” he said. “These crimes are still going on before the curfew.”
Prince George’s County police officials declined to comment on the crime statistics. But they also reported that crime dropped 42 percent outside of curfew hours which is for 16 and under youth between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
L.D. Coley, who owns a barbershop in the county at the Shops at Iverson mall in Hillcrest Heights, applauds the effort by police and elected officials.
Although he questions the accuracy of the numbers but is happy to see the county taking it seriously.
“We’re not totally convinced that everything they said is true. But we do know for sure that what is in place to try to help the situation that’s at hand,” he said. “We hope that as citizens in the community that these kinds of things will benefit us all.”
Coley said that opinions may vary but “some notice a change a little bit” in the crime numbers.
“We don’t see as many young folk out in the street at night which is a great thing,” he said. “I feel somewhat more comfortable with a curfew.”