Effective yesterday, children 17 years old and younger will no longer be allowed to independently cruise NorthPark Center after 6 p.m. The new curfew comes as part of a set of new policies instituted at the upscale Dallas mall that also includes restrictions on language and attire.

It’s about time. Could the pendulum be swinging back? Or will the kids just go over to the about to be majorly nipped and tucked Valley View?

NorthPark spokesman Mark Annick said the updated policies were not in response to a specific incident, but reflect a growing trend nationwide. Last January, a malicious group beating of a high school student created quite a stir, again, about NorthPark safety, but the actual incident did not take place at NorthPark.

But Annick insisted that though the new curfew may be new in Dallas,  it’s really not so new around the country, and similar policies are in place at other malls.

Oh, and the curfew will not apply to movie-goers, who will be permitted to go in and out of the AMC Theater, presumably for drop-offs and pick-ups, inside the mall until 11 p.m. Sunday — Thursday, and until 12:01 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Also exempt:  NorthPark employees under the age of 18.

Kids under the age of 18 work there?

Will this all mean more work for NorthPark security? Probably. Security officers will ask children to produce an acceptable form of ID, or produce a nearby guardian is nearby, or risk being asked ever so nicely to leave. So you might get a call to come pick your kid up.

What if they cannot find the parents? In my experience, kids who are dropped off to roam malls usually have parents who are not all that available. Will NorthPark create a recreation room?

Will this extra cost be passed onto the consumers? Inquiring minds.