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St. Catharines Plan To Manage Rowdy Youth

An article pulled from todays St. Catharines Standard

Starting Friday, residents of south St. Catharines should notice more police cruisers on their streets on weekend nights.

About two more cars will patrol the area starting this weekend, the result of a partnership between the city, Brock University and Niagara Regional Police, St. Andrew’s Coun. Andrew Gill said Wednesday.

“Absolutely it’ll be noticeable. I’m very confident this will have an immediate impact,” Gill said.

The increased presence is the result of a $25,000 contribution from Brock University, given to manage rowdy youth in the city’s south neighbourhoods, Mayor Brian McMullan said. The city matched the funding and is working with police to develop a strategy for an extra layer of police coverage, he said.

Residents have dealt with “drunken party behaviour” for years, Gill said. This includes noise, vandalism, public urination and beer bottles on lawns. Calls to emergency officials are answered in priority sequence, and calls about the activity tended to go to the bottom of the list, he said.

But extra policing should change that, McMullan said. “There will definitely be more officers and more patrol cars deployed on a regular basis,” he said. “This three-way partnership should give us additional policing at critical times.”

The additional cops are part of a “multi-pronged approach” to curbing boisterous behaviour in the south end, McMullan said. The approach also includes a beefed-up nuisance bylaw, which sees stiff fines for activities such as vomiting and fighting in public, as well as Brock University reviewing a code of conduct that impacts students off campus. Those combined efforts should curb the keg parties and front-lawn bonfires experienced in some neighbourhoods, he said. “We’re confident that will address the issue.”

The additional police presence will at first be on Friday and Saturday nights, but may eventually include Thursday nights, too, McMullan said.

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