Police cracking down on back-to-school parties once again
Police enforcement coupled with educational outreach by universities, volunteers, bylaw officers
For the third year, Ottawa police will be cracking down on rowdy university students with a zero-tolerance policy on noise complaints and public drinking.
The campaign will run for the next two weeks, targeting university campuses and neighbourhoods with high numbers of students.
Bylaw officers and volunteers are also taking part in the campaign with educational outreach.
In neighbourhoods such as Sandy Hill, where loud parties have often been a problem at the start of each school year, community groups have been pushing for a zero-tolerance campaign in conjunction with an educational approach.
"If there are only ever warnings given, as things were done in the past, then the message never really does get through," said Christopher Collmorgen, a member of the Sandy Hill Town and Gown Committee.
"If there's no consequence, then they're just going to keep on pushing the boundaries and it's important for us to very clearly draw the boundaries."
Last week, the Sandy Hill Town and Gown committee teamed up with students to hand out information packs to hundreds of homes in the neighbourhood.
Ottawa police spokesman Const. Marc Soucy said noise complaints are frequent at this time of year. For the next two weeks, police will ticket students who throw out-of-hand parties.
"Our message to them is, don't invite [us] to your party," he said.
Chris Hynes, vice-president of university affairs for the University of Ottawa Students Federation, said there's a time and a place for parties but that students can still be good neighbours.
"I think there's a learning curve. Students are away from home for the first time, it might be their first time living in a community without family and things like that. We're just doing our best to make sure that we educate them," Hynes said.