Over the weekend, students flooded the University District for unsanctioned gatherings, disappointing both the City of Kingston and Kingston Police.
In a joint press release, Kingston Police and the City condemned the “lack of respect” participants of the unsanctioned gatherings displayed towards members of the Kingston community, and for violating the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI), which is in effect until Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m.
According to the press release, Kingston Police charged partygoers with $40,900 worth of fines.
Under the UDSI, fines, charges, and administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) listed under the nuisance party bylaw, liquor license act, and noise bylaw are increased in the University District area.
AMPs are charges laid against students by bylaw or police officer that don’t require a court hearing and instead require those charged to pay fines directly to the City.
The number of charges, fines, and AMPs skyrocketed to 444, a stark contrast to last year’s orientation weekend where 76 charges were laid. Of those charges, 295 were for open liquor, 24 for underage drinking, four for public intoxication, 42 for amplified sound or yelling, and 65 for failure to leave an unsanctioned gathering. Nine charges for highway traffic violations were listed with four nuisance parties being declared.
One individual was charged with mischief under $5,000 for damaging a window of a residence.
Announcement of the UDSI comes with a heightened police and bylaw presence in the University District, increasing the likelihood of residents facing charges and fines for illegal activity.
In addition, the City announced Gord Edgar Downie Pier and Breakwater Park will be closed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. starting Sept. 7 until Sept 10. The change comes after a nuisance party was declared at the pier this past Sunday.
Anyone found at the pier during closing hours by bylaw or police officers will be issued a $200 AMP.
Under the UDSI, students who receive AMPs for amplified sound or yelling and failure to leave an unsanctioned gathering can pay their fines by mail or in-person at the Kingston courthouse. All other offences, such as public drunkenness or open liquor, from this past weekend will require a court appearance before a judge at the Kingston courthouse.
“Over this past weekend, [individuals who hosted or visited unsanctioned parties in the University District] created hostile environments for Bylaw Enforcements and other community partners,” said Curtis Smith, director of licensing and enforcement for the City, in the press release.
Queen’s and student organizations have obtained permission from the City for noise permits, road closures, and the hosting of large gatherings for past and future orientation events. Such events won’t receive bylaw infractions.
The Police Liaison Team (PLT), a team of police officer who deliver messages from the Kingston Police department in a non-enforcement capacity, will continue to speak with students and residents in the University District about increased security measures.
The PLT distributed paper notices to residences in the University District prior to Labour Day weekend.
“We encourage students and all community residents to engage in conversations with PLT members to ensure future weekends are peaceful, lawful, and safe for everyone,” said Scott Fraser, acting chief of Kingston Police, in the press release.
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