A group of Teens pulled into an empty parking spot to the Queen Creek Marketplace, they are by themselves while their parents are out running errands. They decide to walk on into Target. They just wanted to shop and get some Starbucks but got distracted by funny hats and fluffy scarves. They decide to take funny pictures and ride around in carts throughout the store. They spot security coming. They get out and try to run and hide. They get caught and get kicked out of Target and banned for the rest of the evening.
The 16 at 6 policy is a new “curfew” that the Queen Creek Marketplace has started to enforce this July. The policy states that nobody under the age of 16 may be at the marketplace without an adult after 6pm. If you do not follow the 16 at 6 policy you might regret your decision. “There won’t be any punishment, unless it is by the Queen Creek police department,” Queen Creek Marketplace marketing manager Karli Adam said, “ If you don’t abide by the 16 at 6 rule then we will ask you to leave the property and if you don’t the Queen Creek police department will take it from there.”
Stores like Famous Footwear don’t enforce it unless it is necessary. Others say that they need to enforce it because security has told them to enforce it but they don’t say why. Other stores like declined to comment about the “16 at 6” altogether, but a Ross manager who requested not to be identified by name was able to shed some light on the policy that came to be.
“Its for protection of the stores as well as the young people, and they should not be running around. It’s kind of dangerous,” Ross manager said. “A lot of teens were just hanging around the stores and not purchase anything, and it does disrupt other customers.
Stores like Tilly’s said they are limited in what they can say and they don’t really know what information they can say and give out. Most stores don’t really give any information about the subject and say it has to go through their corporate office.
“The 16 at 6 program is something that is put on the whole shopping center. So it’s something that, we enforce here because,” A Tilly’s employee said. “It’s just one of the rules of the center.”
Teenagers that are caught loitering have a higher risk of getting kicked out. Teens younger than 16 do not enjoy this rule one bit.
“My friend and I got kicked out because we’re screwing around in Target. There were three or four security guards and they asked if “who getting kicked out the fastest” was a challenge,” Freshman Ashlyn Woodrome said. “We couldn’t go back to Target the rest of the night. Once we walked out they watched us for the rest of the time we were there. Later one or two security guards were shining their lights and following us because they were trying to kick us out of the whole marketplace. The rule is kind of annoying because we usually go on a Friday after school. Some people have clubs or sports after school that doesn’t end until six and now they cant go to the marketplace because how late their activity goes.”
45% of the students have no idea what this new policy is, and 15% have an idea but still unsure. 61% of teens are not concerned about getting kicked out, but the other 38% are still concerned about the punishments of getting kicked out. Some students don’t even go to the marketplace at all and dont have an idea about anything that is going on in that area.
“We still invite everyone to enjoy the amenities that we offer at Queen Creek.’ ’16 at 6’ just applies to anyone that is loitering at the center. So if you are here to shop, dine, eat, or see a movie, they are more than welcome to enjoy Queen Creek Marketplace and all we have to offer,” Adam said.” We’re just wanting it to make a safe environment for the tenants and make sure that everyone that’s in their spaces are there to shop and dine.”
Harkins does not participate in the 16 at 6. You are still able to go watch a movie and eat popcorn. It is only a small thing, it is not required for Harkins Movie Theater.
The 16 at 6 policy does not concerned some students and teens that go to the Queen Creek Marketplace.
“The rule has never applied to me because i’m way over 16, but personally i think it’s helpful,” Senior Kayla Dobner said, “A lot of younger teens do dumb stuff and ruin the other people shopping. I definitely love shopping there.”