Western officials expressed “disappointment” with those involved in a student-organized street party that attracted more than 11,000 people to a residential street over the weekend, as local law enforcement and emergency services officials released numbers that painted a chaotic scene of the event.
“We are extremely disappointed in the behaviour exhibited by students who attended this event,” said Janice Deakin, Provost and Vice-President (Academic). “We have an expectation of our students to demonstrate a sense of citizenship as residents of London. Those who attended this gathering showed disrespect to Western’s neighbours and the City of London – not to mention jeopardizing their own safety and the safety of others.
“There seems to be a sense of entitlement among some students related to this event and a complete disregard for the community around them. This large number of people gathered on a public street with open alcohol and underage drinking is just not acceptable. We expect better from our students.”
Between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services received 34 emergency calls to the area. Of those, 24 patients were transported to hospital, including one with a serious head and spinal injury after he fell off a roof. An additional 13 people were taken to hospital between 5 p.m. Saturday night and 4 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, in relations to spill off from the street party, EMS officials said.
“There are many challenges and real concerns around some of the irresponsible behaviour exemplified by what we saw Saturday on Broughdale Avenue and all the spill-off parties in the area,” said Daryl Longworth, London Police Service (LPS) Deputy Chief (Operations). “Our greatest fear is that someone is going to die or will be in serious medical distress and we will be unable to get EMS personnel in to assist due to the size of the crowds.”
LPS said it brought in dozens of extra officers that day and estimated its overtime costs for policing the party at $31,000. “This is a significant financial drain on our organization that is ultimately paid for by London taxpayers,” Longworth said.
For the event, LPS issued the following charges, arrests and tickets: Eight City of London by-law public nuisance charges laid and three more pending; 964 Provincial Offence Act warnings, mainly related to liquor and trespassing offences; 50 Provincial Offence Act Notices, mainly related to liquor and trespassing offences; eight Provincial Offence Act arrests, mostly liquor related, trespassing, failure to identify; two Criminal Code charges; one Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charge; and five Controlled Drugs and Substances Act warnings.