Parents, do you know where your children are?

Peabody police chief Bruce Burke is well aware that school is out for the summer.

"I have had an increase in complaints about kids on bikes and kids creating problems downtown," he said. "Parents need to be more aware of where their children are and what they are doing."

Burke reminds parents that there is a curfew in Peabody and it will be enforced.

Young people not yet 18 are not supposed to be out on the streets after 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday or after 12:30 a.m. on Friday or Saturday (actually the early morning of Saturday and Sunday).

"A curfew violator will get one warning to go home," Burke said. "The second time we find them out after curfew, we will issue a citation. That will mean a municipal court appearance and likely fine.

"The curfew is a matter of city ordinance and any violation of city ordinance means a trip to court."

Burke said additional problems have caused complaints about children who have likely told their parents they are going to the HUB, but end up just hanging around downtown.

"There has been an increase in litter, vandalism, and destruction of property, noise problems, and kids milling around in the street, obstructing traffic," said Burke.

His investigation into the problem has revealed that the HUB has adequate staff and volunteers to oversee the activities and events it sponsors as long as the youth remain inside the HUB.

"The problem comes when they leave, because at that point they are not monitored and their behavior has caused problems," he said. "We suspect many parents don't know their children are not part of the supervised group inside the HUB.

"Parents need to check the whereabouts of their children."

Burke said that if noise and vandalism remain a problem, the young people could be charged with disorderly conduct and a ticket could be issued to the parents.

"We want the kids to have fun and they are lucky to have a place like the HUB," Burke said. "But if the problems continue, we will have no choice but to enforce stricter rules."

Burke also reminds parents to talk to their children about riding their bikes.

"They shouldn't be weaving from side-to-side or riding in the middle of the street," he said. "Last week we had several complaints of kids on bikes not moving over for traffic and one complaint of a youngster on a bike trying to race a vehicle.

"Both scenarios could be deadly for the person on the bike," he added.

Bicycle riders are bound by law to follow the rules of the road the same as motorized vehicles.

For more information or to report a problem contact Burke or any law enforcement officer at the city building, 983-2133.