London police prepare to launch 2018 Project LEARN

Unsanctioned homecoming celebrations along Broughdale Avenue in September 2015.
Unsanctioned homecoming celebrations along Broughdale Avenue in September 2015. London Police Service via Twitter

Students living around Fanshawe College and Western University can expect a visit from police on Wednesday.

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

The London Police Service is working to spread the word ahead of Thursday’s launch of Project LEARN, which stands for Liquor Enforcement and Reduction of Noise.

The annual enforcement blitz will see increased police presence in neighbourhoods around Western University and Fanshawe College, as well as downtown. Police will be cracking down on by-laws related to parties, parking, open fires, noise, litter, and public urination. It runs throughout the month of September.

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Project LEARN was launched in 2007 in an effort to protect public safety and property and to educate students on responsible partying. Administration and student leaders from both schools have partnered with police as part of the annual project.

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“With the excitement of being back in school, and the celebrations that many students will be joining in on, we want to remind students to stay safe and have fun,” said Jahmoyia Smith, Fanshawe Student Union President.

“We also encourage students to be respectful, courteous and to be good citizens, whether you are hosting or going to a party, or celebrating a night on the town.”

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University Student’s Council vice president Danny Chang added that the USC has worked with police for years “to ensure students have fun responsibly and respect our shared community.”

The launch of the 2018 edition of Project LEARN follows increased calls to police over concerns about noise and mischief on Thurman Circle, near Fanshawe College. Over the last two weeks, two incidents prompted a large police presence in the neighbourhood. The first involved a robbery and assault at a house party while the second saw roughly 500 people fill the streets with some throwing bottles.

READ MORE: Cruiser damaged as police disperse roughly 500 people from Thurman Circle, near Fanshawe College

In 2017, Project LEARN resulted in police issuing 152 provincial offence notices and 172 warnings and laying 28 criminal charges.

The number of offence notices and charges laid has been trending downward since 2014.

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Police issued 254 provincial offence notices and 37 criminal charges in 2016 and 791 notices and 23 charges in 2015.

In 2014, police issued 1,422 notices and laid 105 criminal charges, though only 15 were against students.

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