Kingston, Ont. police lift ‘nuisance party’ declaration in University District

Kingston police say a ‘nuisance party’ in the city’s University District has been cleared, but officers remain in the area after thousands of people attended weekend St. Patrick’s Day parties.

The city of Kingston imposed its “University District Safety Initiative” this week to crack down on large parties. Police and Bylaw officers can issue fines for nuisance party infractions, ranging from $100 for noise bylaw offences like yelling, screaming and shouting to $200 for amplified music and $2,000 for hosting a “nuisance party.”

A nuisance party was declared around 2:30 p.m. Saturday on Aberdeen Street, police said, warning attendees that anyone who remained in the area could face the abovementioned fines, and the possibility of charges. It was lifted around 4 p.m. after the street cleared out.

Police said this year’s enforcement aims to strike a balance between allowing students to have fun while preventing high-risk behaviours.

“Basically, the message is we’re not trying to intercept or get in the way of people having fun but there’s obviously limitations and of course the laws have to apply and behaviour will be responded to,” Insp. Matt Funnel said in an interview with CTV News.

“A party would be fine, but as soon as the behaviour steps up and we see projectiles or bad behaviour, that’s when the enforcement kicks in and we’re going to be firm and fair this year.”

Last year, police and bylaw officers issued three fines worth $2,000 each for hosting or sponsoring a nuisance party on St. Patrick’s Day, and 18 tickets for amplification of noise. Police said 41 open liquor charges were also issued, along with seven for underage drinking.

–With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Kimberley Johnson and Josh Pringle.

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