In the wake of recent large-scale brawls involving hundreds of teenagers, the Moreno Valley Mall in Southern California has implemented new security measures. The latest violent incidents unfolded last Sunday during National Cinema Day, where local movie theaters offered $4 tickets, creating a swarm of unattended youth.
The mall’s decision to require identification lanyards for unaccompanied minors after 5 p.m. reveals a grim reality: Retailers are forced to fill the security void left by California’s lax state and local governments.
“We would like to remind you that the mall security is not a babysitting service, and it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children to be respectful to others,” said a statement from the mall.
CA mall will require unaccompanied teens to wear ID lanyards after large brawl.
"We would like to remind you that mall security is not a babysitting service, and it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children to be respectful to others…"https://t.co/GC6LE8vn1Y
— David L Wagner (@DavidLWagner4) August 30, 2023
While no weapons appeared to be involved in the Moreno Valley incident, viral video footage showed people fighting in the crowded mall, forcing the police to shut it down. This breakdown of public order is part of a disturbing trend that includes violent incidents across multiple American cities.
Retailers in California are increasingly finding themselves in precarious positions as they struggle to address rising crime rates, including theft and violence. Incidents like these make it evident that business owners cannot rely solely on local law enforcement or state governance to protect their property, customers, and employees.
TORRANCE CALIFORNIA—Approximately 1,000 juveniles swarmed the Del Amo Mall on Sunday, starting fights and causing a massive disturbance.
There was also a report of gunfire.
It took several hours for the crowd to disperse while city officials warned the public to steer clear of… pic.twitter.com/gbN1fVSUec
— Amiri King (@AmiriKing) August 28, 2023
This is the new face of retail in California, where individual businesses are forced to innovate to ensure public safety due to the glaring absence of government action. Many argue that such policies could serve as a deterrent for disruptive behavior, thereby helping to regain some semblance of order, at least within the confines of a shopping mall.
The fact that mall management had to clarify that their security is “not a babysitting service” speaks volumes about the perceived abdication of responsibility from parents, law enforcement, and, most crucially, the state and local government.
In a country where the government is expected to ensure the safety and security of its people, it’s disconcerting to see businesses having to shoulder this burden alone. But in today’s California, retailers seem to have no other choice.