HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Turtle Creek Mall in Hattiesburg implements a new policy on March 25 regarding security measures for underage visitors.
The “Youth Escort Policy” states that mall visitors under the age of 18 are to be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years of age.
“We thoroughly examined security related instances we faced over the past year, and we found that a large percentage of those instances that occurred at Turtle Creek Mall resulted in misconduct committed by unsupervised youth,” General Manager Lance Ivy said.
The new policy will be enforced on Friday and Saturday evenings after 5 p.m. Mall officials say the response is due to the rising number of youth-related disturbances in the mall.
“Of course teens and young people are important to Turtle Creek Mall and our retailers,” Ivy said. “However, a growing number of youth and young adults are attempting to use the mall in a manner that is not consistent with its intended purposes, which is to serve as a center of commerce in this community and to bring stores and shoppers together.”
Additional hours to the policy could be added if necessary.