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More than $300K spent to police St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Waterloo

A St. Patrick's Day reveller. Waterloo police say that over the two-day St. Patrick's Day period this year, they laid 238 charges and there were 387 calls for service. The Canadian Press file

There were around 9,500 revellers at the unsanctioned street party on Marshall Street on the Saturday of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, according to a report prepared by Waterloo Regional Police for the services board.

The report, which will be presented to the board at a meeting on Wednesday, says that the cost of policing the event rose by $50,000 in 2024 to $318,000.

While St. Patrick’s Day was actually on Sunday, the weather was bad that day as students hit the streets on Saturday this year instead.

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Over the two-day period, the report says that there were 238 charges over the weekend and 387 calls for service.

There were also 10 people arrested although none were violent offences. In 2023, there were 18 arrests made.

There were 238 charges laid over the two-day span which the report says is similar to what occurred a year earlier.

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The report suggests that newly installed CCTV cameras and signage may have played a part in that.

“CCTV cameras and signage were piloted in the area of Marshall Street which may have contributed as a deterrent for violent offences,” it noted.

The parties peaked in 2019 when 33,000 people gathered on Ezra Street on St. Patrick’s Day but they did not occur over the following two years due to the COVID pandemic.

In 2022, fences were installed on Ezra Avenue so the partygoers went to Marshall Street instead.

Last year, the crowd peaked at 8,000.

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