Kingston Police have revealed detailed statistics about their enforcement activities during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
While Kingston Police say that most individuals took part in “respectful and lawful celebrations” on March 18th, they say that a large crowd that gathered on Aberdeen Street in the late afternoon posed an immediate threat to safety. By 3:00pm a nuisance party was declared. It’s estimated that there were at least 4,000 people in the area at the time.
Aberdeen Street was cleared in its entirety after about 45 minutes. The nuisance gathering declaration was lifted by 4:00 p.m.
“Kingston Police spent a number of weeks leading up to St Patrick’s Day providing proactive messaging to the community in and around the University District, local area high schools, and other post-secondary campuses,” says Kingston Police Chief Scott Fraser.
“This messaging played a vital role in ensuring that all attendees were aware of expectations in advance of the event. Kingston Police then followed up this messaging with enforcement during the event where required. This model is something that we will continue to use and build upon in the future. We are happy to report that, despite thousands of students pouring onto the streets, we were able to keep our staff and community safe. I would like to personally thank all of our staff and partners who stepped up to assist us during the event.”
On the part of Kingston Police, 368 charges related to the Liquor Licence Act were laid. Most of these charges were related to open liquor offenses, public intoxication and underage drinking. Individuals who were charged were either arrested or received a court summons.
Between Kingston Police and Kingston Bylaw Enforcement, 52 Administrative Monetary Penalties fines were issued over the period of March 17th and 18th. The most common fine was related to failing to leave a premises when asked and for the amplification of sound.
In the lead up to the enforcement activity, Kingston Police increased their coordination of both community outreach and enforcement planning.
A door to door education and awareness campaign was organized in partnership with Queen’s University. Through this campaign, representatives from the Police Liaison Team, Bylaw Enforcement and Queen’s Student Affairs spoke with students in the University District to share important enforcement information. Police also presented themselves at public venues such as Starbucks to speak with students.
“It’s thanks to everyone working together that we’re able to prepare for these kinds of events,” says Kyle Compeau, Manager of Licensing & Enforcement. “Community safety is our number one priority and sharing resources ensures that we are able to respond to the evolving situation, while continuing to support the needs of the large community.”
The Alma Mater Society, which is the undergraduate student government at Queen’s, also took part in a communications campaign in the lead up to the St. Patrick’s Day festivities and provided food to students on Saturday, March 18th.
Kingston Police say that have not yet tabulated the costs associated with St. Patrick’s Day enforcement activities.