Homecoming festivities have kicked off on Broughdale Ave. and the surrounding area, and local officials are hoping things stay under control.
Western advised students and other attendees to not gather in off-campus neighbourhoods, and city officials warned there could be consequences for any unsanctioned gatherings that aren’t under control.
Nearly 7,000 people were on Broughdale Ave. and the surrounding area last year during the height of the parties. Several roads were closed, including Richmond Street.
“We have a number of officers on scene, as well as paramedics and members of the London Fire Department,” says acting Sergeant Sandasha Bough. “We’re just reminding individuals who are here to keep the roads clear, in case we need to get emergency service vehicles through.”
Officers from other cities, including York, Windsor, and Hamilton, were brought in to help keep the parties under control and ensure that the London Police can continue to respond to other calls throughout the city.
Official numbers on how many officers have been deployed have not been released.
The City of London released a statement Wednesday saying their Unsanctioned Street Party Task Force will be prioritising safety over the weekend.
”For several years, late September has been synonymous with large parties in London,” the statement reads.
“Members of the city-wide Unsanctioned Street Parties Task Force have been working for months to plan for Saturday’s anticipated street gathering. This task force brings together agencies from across London with a shared concern for the safety of those who attend and participate in large unsanctioned gatherings and with a shared responsibility for the safety of the community overall.”
London Police issued more than 200 charges during homecoming weekend last September, including 22 Liquor Licence Control Act charges and 34 administrative monetary penalties, such as tickets for noise violations, and street and yard maintenance bylaw infractions.
Possible fines include the following:
- attending a nuisance party: $800
- failing to leave premises: $750
- using a closed road: $500
- urinating in a public place: $250
“Students are an important part of our community. When they are here, they are home,” said London Mayor Josh Morgan in a statement Wednesday. “As a part of our community, everyone has a responsibility to take good care – of themselves, of each other, and of our city.”