Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the Police Department (PPD), District Attorney’s Office, Law Department, Department of Human Services (DHS), Philadelphia Youth Commission, City officials, business owners and community representatives has created an integrated, coordinated response to recent ‘flash mob’ incidents in Center City.

Flash mobs are sudden gatherings of young people that, in some cases, turn violent. Stores have been trashed and unsuspecting passers-by have been punched and beaten.

Mayor Nutter, in response to last Friday’s incident, where mob of 20-to-40 kids, including an 11-year-old boy, attacked people at random in Center City stated: “We do not tolerate violence by any individuals in our city, and we will continue to respond with the full force of our city’s justice system to kids who disrespect their City."

“These troubled young people are only a small percentage of our city’s youth; yet, their impulsive actions impact all of our citizens," Mayor Nutter said. "We need parents to know where their kids are every night. We need mentors to reach out into their communities and work with young people. We need the Police Department to be a continually visible presence on our streets. We need the District Attorney’s Office and the courts to prosecute these offenders and make it clear that this behavior has very serious consequences. We need this to happen in a coordinated effort."

In response, the city launched SafeCam, an online initiative that allows residents and businesses to register their security cameras with the City. “This initiative will allow us to work directly with businesses to ensure that criminals are quickly apprehended. Business owners and residents can visit to become part of this new program,” Mayor Nutter said.

“I am bringing together all the parties in the city who work with young people and who can have a real impact on stopping these senseless acts of violence. Our approach will be led by a need to quickly apprehend offenders and to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law while also considering long-term solutions that will include reaching out through the community,” said Mayor Nutter.