NORTH RIVERSIDE – A new policy to be implemented at North Riverside Park Mall is designed to confront the perception of a problem, a representative of the shopping center said.
The mall will put a youth escort policy into effect by the end of the month, said Lidia Darkova, marketing director for the mall. At 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, individuals ages 17 and younger must be supervised by an adult, or they will be asked to leave the mall, according to the policy.
“The number of security incidents involving teenagers has actually decreased, but the number of young people in the mall unsupervised has increased,” Darkova said. “Research has shown that some shoppers may not come to a mall if there are large numbers of youths in there unsupervised.”
Unsupervised youths at the mall who appear to be 17 and younger will be asked for identification beginning at 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, according to the policy. Those who cannot produce a valid ID showing they are at least 18 will be asked to leave the mall. They will be allowed to contact a parent, guardian or adult to either pick them up or join them at the mall so they can stay, the policy reads.
According to information from the International Council of Shopping Centers, nearly 80 malls throughout the United States have put youth escort policies into effect. Darkova said that North Riverside Park Mall would be the first shopping center in Illinois to implement such a policy.
“It kind of comes in ebbs and flows,” Jesse Tron, a spokesman for the ICSC, said about the trend of implementing youth escort policies.
Tron said that anecdotal evidence confirms the idea that youth escort policies can increase consumer activity.
The youth escort policy will go into effect at North Riverside Park Mall on Friday, May 31. Visit the mall’s website to read more about this policy.