Halifax police slam Dal’s unsanctioned and unsafe homecoming parties – Halifax

Halifax Regional Police say there will be ‘consequences’ following a number of unauthorized homecoming parties at Dalhousie University in the city’s south end on Saturday night where thousands of revelers swarmed the streets.

According to a police statement on Sunday afternoon, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people crowded Larch, Preston and Jennings streets to Jubilee Road as of 10 p.m.

“Participants climbed poles and trees, fireworks were shot into the crowd and in some cases directed at residences. Troubles and fights were occurring among the large crowd,” the press release said.

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Halifax police said they ended up calling patrol divisions from across the city as the crowds grew.

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“The officers attempted to disperse the crowd and encountered heavy resistance. Bottles, cans and debris from the storm were thrown at officers,” HRP said.

“In addition to being hit by projectiles, the officers were punched, kicked and spat at. Some officers required treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said there were a number of injured people to be brought out, including a man who was stabbed. HRP said an ambulance was unable to get to the injured person « due to crowds and security risks ».

Additionally, police allege a fire was started in the street using Fiona’s downed branches « in an effort to prevent officers from dispersing the crowd. »

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Again, police said officers eventually put out the fire because firefighters could not enter the area for safety reasons.

In the end, HRP said it was able to disperse the crowd within hours, having made « a number » of arrests and handing out dozens of tickets.

« Halifax Regional Police would like to reiterate that this behavior has consequences and express our disappointment at these callous and dangerous acts just days after a devastating storm tore through many parts of our province and impacted our community. » , the statement concludes.

Student union president worried about police reaction

Meanwhile, Dalhousie Student Union President Aparna Mohan said she was concerned about the police response on Saturday night.

On Twitter, Mohan said she « does not tolerate the disruption and disrespect I have witnessed from many revelers », but also could not condone violence as a reasonable response. and proportionate.

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“Police patrolled the street every 15 minutes with tear gas and pepper spray in the hope of clearing the streets of students who were mostly standing around looking for the next show. The police gave them a lot,” she wrote.

Unauthorized parties and gatherings in neighborhoods around the university are an ongoing concern. The university began a “collaborative process” earlier this year with members of the community following new complaints.

An independent report was released with several recommendations, including providing « new and expanded alternatives to squeeze some energy out of the big holidays ».

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Mohan said the student union « gratefully engaged » in those conversations, but did not receive funding for an outdoor concert project. She said the union supports harm reduction on campus, but the police and municipality have not been involved in the process.

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« It’s hard to engage in proactive planning when there is a frankly terrifying amount of anti-student sentiment in this city and a continued reliance on the police to address community concerns, » she tweeted. .

In a Sept. 16 statement ahead of unauthorized off-campus “HOCO” parties, Dalhousie University said such events and “the high-risk, social media-fueled party culture” are a growing problem in Canada.

« This complex issue requires sustained cooperation aimed at addressing the root causes of this growing trend and finding other ways for students to feel connected to each other and their community. »

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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