Police and bylaw officers in Kingston, Ont., have laid dozens of provincial offence charges and fines after a second straight weekend of street parties that saw thousands of people gather near Queen’s University.
University officials, the city and police had all urged people not to gather after a particularly destructive homecoming the weekend before. Officers had struggled to control an estimated 8,000-person crowd that gathered at one point on Aberdeen Street in the student housing area.
Police estimated the crowds were smaller this past weekend, with around 3,000 people gathering in the area on Saturday afternoon and others congregating at a nearby park later that night.
Police declared several “aggravated nuisance parties” on both weekends, which allow for tougher penalties to be issued against anyone involved.
Over the weekend, bylaw and police officers issued more than 120 administrative monetary penalties (AMPs), most of which were for failing to comply with an emergency order. Others were given out for hosting or sponsoring a nuisance party, yelling and shouting, and amplification of sound.
Police also issued 83 provincial offences and 57 AMPs and arrested 13 people — 12 for public intoxication and one for possession of a dangerous weapon and of a controlled substance.
University, police condemn parties
“Officers continued to observe aggressive, volatile, and disrespectful behaviour that has, unfortunately, become the norm these past weeks,” Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely wrote in a release Monday afternoon.
Queen’s University did not issue a statement on the latest parties, but principal Patrick Deane had previously condemned participants’ behaviour as “dangerous, irresponsible, and ultimately inexcusable.”
Several cities and police forces across the province have had to grapple with destructive street parties since post-secondary students returned to campuses for the fall semester.
In some cases, including in Kingston and Ottawa, parties spilled into the streets and property was damaged. There have also been concerns the parties could spread COVID-19.