Frosh week liquor offences decrease drastically

Kingston Police issue 83 per cent fewer tickets than in 2012

Police patrolled University Ave. on Sept. 3, looking for violations of the Liquor Licence Act.
Police patrolled University Ave. on Sept. 3, looking for violations of the Liquor Licence Act.
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According to preliminary data from the Kingston Police Force (KPF), frosh week has seen an 83 per cent drop since 2012 in the number of Liquor Licence Act tickets issued in the University District.

Const. Steve Koopman, media relations officer for the KPF, doesn’t have all the numbers yet, but he said tickets processed so far for the period of Aug. 30 to Sep. 4 show a decrease in total calls for service, Liquor Licence Act tickets and noise bylaw tickets since 2012.

The Liquor Licence Act is a provincial act regulating the licensing, responsible use and possession of alcohol. Offences of the Act include having open containers, drinking in a public place and drinking underage.

In 2012, there were 995 total calls for service, including 348 within the University District.

In that year, 149 total Liquor Licence Act tickets were issued, with 114 in the University District. Of 14 noise bylaw tickets, 10 were issued within the University District.

In 2013, there were 902 total calls for service, 61 Liquor Licence Act tickets and three noise bylaw tickets throughout the city. Out of those, in the University District, there were 318 calls for service, 51 Liquor Licence Act tickets and three noise bylaw tickets.

This year, there were 767 total calls, 27 Liquor Licence Act tickets and one noise bylaw ticket. In the University District, there were 208 calls for service, 19 Liquor Licence Act tickets issued and one noise bylaw ticket, according to the data that the KPF has so far.

Despite the low numbers, Koopman said the total amount of calls for service and issued tickets are still higher than the rest of the year.

The KPF normally sees an average of 110 calls per day, but received an average of 130 per day during frosh week, an increase of about 18 per cent.

“We are still getting statistics coming in or having the tickets processed, so these numbers would be low for this year,” he said.

In addition, some noise bylaw tickets are laid by City bylaw enforcement officers, rather than the police.

The KPF always sees a rise in noise bylaw and Liquor Licence Act tickets during frosh week, Koopman added.

“Everyone’s in good moods, they’re in a celebratory fashion, there’s not much work, the spirit of Queen’s and St. Lawrence and others come through, it’s just a fact of life,” he said.

“So we have to try and be prepared for that as a police service and then we see what community reaction is to that as well. We try and work well with both the University and [St. Lawrence] College, and with the community as well, and try and build bridges.”

He said that the decline in total calls for service, Liquor Licence Act and noise bylaw tickets is “hopefully” a good sign.

“That might be good that we may not have to lay as many charges,” he said.

He added that it may indicate students are becoming more integrated into the Kingston community.

While the KPF prefers to do prevention and education before enforcement, they have a zero tolerance policy for Liquor Licence Act violations, he added.

“If we do see [someone] committing an offence, and normally those are the ones having open alcohol or consuming alcohol in a public place, and that includes obviously a sidewalk as well, or underage drinking, then you can normally expect to get a ticket for that,” he said.

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