Waterloo Regional Police have released data that shows nearly 150 charges were laid and 19 arrests were made on St. Patrick’s Day.
Historically, the annual illegal street party took place on Ezra Avenue in Waterloo’s university district, which police fenced off ahead of the March 17 celebration.
But that didn’t stop revellers, who moved the festivities over to Marshall Street, which police were forced to close between King and Brighton streets. Regina Street was also closed between Lodge Street and Elgin Crescent.
During the day, police said they were monitoring at least 15 house parties in the area of King and Mashall streets and at least one had spilled out onto the street.
On Monday, police announced that between 8 a.m. on March 17 and 6 a.m. on March 18, officers responded to an estimated 328 calls for service, resulting in 147 charges and 19 arrests.
Most of the charges came under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, while others were under the Highway Traffic Act.
Police said the 19 criminal charges included assault, obstructing police, assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer, forcible entry, impaired driving, and mischief.
“Large gatherings pose both a health and safety risk to those in attendance and to the entire community,” said Chief Bryan Larkin.
“We are disappointed that, despite encouraging individuals to celebrate responsibly in smaller gatherings or licenced establishments, many opted to gather on the street, forcing road closures. As we move forward, we will continue to work together with our community partners to find alternatives to this unlawful gathering.”
Waterloo police also released data from the weekend, which saw St. Patrick’s Day celebrations spill over into Friday and Saturday nights.
Between 6 a.m. on March 18 to 6 a.m. on March 20, police responded to 46 calls, resulting in 46 charges and three arrests.
Just like St. Patrick’s Day, most charges fell under the Liquor Licence and Control Act. There were also four charges under the Criminal Code including assault, mischief and failing to provide a breath sample.