Ottawa

Planning a St. Patrick's Day bash in Sandy Hill? Police will be watching

Ottawa police are stepping up enforcement in the city's Sandy Hill neighbourhood this weekend as reports of St. Patrick's Day parties circulate on social media.

Officers went door-to-door speaking to residents in Sandy Hill this week

Ottawa police are trying to avoid a barrage of street parties and other problems by stepping up enforcement in Sandy Hill over the weekend. (Radio-Canada)

Ottawa police are stepping up enforcement in Sandy Hill this weekend as reports of St. Patrick's Day parties circulate on social media.

Officers will be watching out for everything from excessive noise and public intoxication to underage drinking and trespassing.

The neighbourhood — which brushes up against the University of Ottawa and features a mix of students, families and retirees — has had a few tense situations in the past, due to loud parties and property damage caused by partygoers spilling into the streets.

Officers were out Tuesday advising Sandy Hill residents to behave themselves.

"We reminded people, if they are going to be hosting a party, to do it respectfully of their neighbours," said Const. Sebastien Lemay.

Police, bylaw officers and Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury have all been working to prepare for any problems, Lemay said.

He also urged neighbours to call police or bylaw to report any trespassing or out-of-hand parties.

A three-year-old initiative also allows residents to direct complaints to participating landlords through a website.

Police said they're working with bylaw officers to monitor any potential problem areas for the St. Patrick's Day weekend. (YouTube)

Past tensions between students, neighbours

The Sandy Hill neighbourhood has struggled with large parties spilling onto the local streets, including one party before last October's Panda Game between the football teams at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa that drew the ire of the neighbourhood association.

Police had stepped up enforcement that weekend, but the head of Action Sandy Hill, Susan Young, said at the time the promised zero-tolerance approach didn't appear to be enforced.

Many students could be seen drinking in the streets, she said.

A St. Patrick's Day party in 2012, meanwhile, drew hundreds of people — along with a DJ with a sound system — to a home at the corner of Chapel Street and Somerset Street E.

Afterward, the streets were littered with garbage and broken bottles.

While the focus may be on Sandy Hill, Ottawa police said they're also keeping an eye on the ByWard Market and other neighbourhoods where celebrations could get out of hand.

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