By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia and SEPTA Police are working together to combat an “after school” crime problem that has been growing for the past three months on Center City streets, near City Hall.
Captain Ray Convery says he has deployed officers on bikes in the area of 15th and Chestnut Streets, as well as JFK Boulevard, to deal with hundreds of students who, many days, flood onto the streets.
The Captain says fights, and other crimes, too often follow.
SEPTA Inspector Steven Harold told CBS 3’s Walt Hunter some of the assaults committed by students were, in his estimation, “appalling”.
Last Wednesday SEPTA and Philadelphia Police met at School District Headquarters to discuss the problem. The investigators viewed a Philadelphia Police video of an attack on December 7th in which a student can be seen being punched and beaten by a crowd. Fortunately, police say, he suffered no serious injuries.
In two additional attacks last Wednesday and Friday afternoons, police say two Roman Catholic High School students were beaten and robbed near 15th and JFK Boulevard.
Captain Convery says so far his officers have made 15 to 20 arrests and, he adds, a police audio visual unit is now recording crowds to help identify those creating disturbances and assaulting victims.
Inspector Harold also expressed concern for non-students who could become victims simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.