September 6, 2017 6:22 pm
Updated: September 6, 2017 6:26 pm

As London students return, so too does Project L.E.A.R.N

File photo.

Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL
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As post-secondary students return to the city for another academic year, London police are gearing up for their annual Project L.E.A.R.N campaign.

Project L.E.A.R.N., or Liquor Enforcement and Reduction of Noise, kicks off Thursday and will once again see increased police presence in the downtown area and in neighbourhoods surrounding Western University and Fanshawe College until Oct. 1.

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The start of the campaign, which sees officers crack down on parties, parking infractions, open fires, noise, litter, and public urination, comes on the heels of incidents over the long weekend that resulted in charges against seven people, police said Wednesday.

Between Sunday evening and Monday morning, police said six people were taken to cells for public intoxication following unsanctioned gatherings on Thurman Circle near Fanshawe College.

Police said one adult female was also arrested and was charged with two counts of assault, causing a disturbance, uttering threats to cause death, and resisting arrest.

“The members of the London Police Service, Western University’s Student Council, and Fanshawe Student Union are asking that those celebrating this weekend do so responsibly,” police said in a statement.

During last year’s campaign, police issued a total of 291 criminal charges and provincial offense notices, a steep decline from the 814 issued in 2015.

A lower number of offense notices handed out was the contributing factor for the decline. Police said they handed out 254 offense notices in 2016, 119 of them to students, compared to 791 in 2015, 499 of them to students.

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The number of criminal charges laid, however, rose, from 23 in 2015, five of them against students, to 37 in 2016, 14 of them against students.

The numbers seen during the 2016 and 2015 campaigns were significantly lower than those seen in 2014. During that year’s campaign, police laid 105 criminal charges, 15 against students, and issued 1,422 offense notices, 849 to students.

– With files from Matthew Trevithick and Travis Dolynny

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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