Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebec Shopping Centre Bans Unaccompanied Minors Following Merchant Complaints

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebec Shopping Centre Bans Unaccompanied Minors Following Merchant Complaints

Article excerpt

Quebec mall bans unaccompanied minors

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MONTREAL - Hanging out at the mall to get away from mom or dad is no longer an option for some Quebec teens after their local shopping centre took the controversial step of banning people under the age of 18 unless accompanied by a parent.

Le Carrefour du Cap shopping centre, located halfway between Quebec City and Montreal in Trois-Rivieres, refused to comment on its decision.

But police and the local school board said Wednesday the mall recently banned unaccompanied minors from its property after receiving complaints that students from two nearby high schools were disturbing merchants at lunch time.

Trois-Rivieres police spokesman Luc Mongrain said he was surprised by the mall's decision because he doesn't consider the location to be particularly problematic.

He said officers were called to respond to loitering complaints about 10 times in the last year but did not make any arrests.

"It's never in relation with a major problem, it's more to disperse them and ask them to leave," he said in a phone interview.

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are three times more likely than adults to be accused of property crimes such as theft or vandalism but are still responsible for a minority of the total property crime committed, according to a 2016 Quebec government report.

Mongrain said crime isn't higher at the Carrefour du Cap compared to elsewhere in the city, despite the presence of numerous students.

"Every shopping centre makes complaints about shoplifting -- most on a weekly basis -- and this location isn't targeted more than any other," he said. …

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