Queen’s University’s annual Homecoming celebrations took place the weekend of October 29 and 30, 2022. For the second weekend in a row, Kingston Police and City of Kingston Bylaw Enforcement, alongside community partners, worked together to address and mitigate the dangerous gatherings in the University District area.
“Officers continued to observe aggressive, volatile and unsafe behaviour that has unfortunately become far too commonplace these past weeks,” said Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely. “Unfortunately, despite our broad community outreach by Police Liaison Team (PLT) members and other resources that were deployed in the lead up to homecoming, we still saw many dangerous gatherings with high-risk behaviour displayed throughout the weekend.”
In a media release, Kingston Police noted that community partners, including police, bylaw, Frontenac Paramedics and Kingston Fire & Rescue, worked together throughout the weekend, ensuring that emergency services remained able to respond to the evolving situation while continuing to support the needs of the larger community.
In what seemed to be a near-repeat of the previous weekend — the so-called “Faux Coming,” or “FoCo” celebrations — Kingston Police and Bylaw Enforcement observed individuals in attendance, at these large gatherings, engaging in dangerous activities, including gathering and drinking on rooftops, climbing trees while intoxicated and, most disturbingly, jumping from rooftops into crowds of partygoers. According to the release, projectiles were also thrown throughout the crowd and, in one instance, struck an individual, which required them to be transported to Kingston General Hospital by Frontenac Paramedics.
This weekend also saw multiple crowds gathering on major roadways, posing an immediate threat to the safety of pedestrians in the area. Police and Bylaw Enforcement were able to intervene and successfully clear multiple gatherings throughout the day.
Kingston Police were again supported by various other police services from across Ontario including the Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Service, Ottawa Police Service, Peel Regional Police, Brockville Police Service, Belleville Police Service, Tyendinaga Police Service and Smiths Falls Police Service.
In terms of Provincial Offences, there were:
- 66 Open Liquor charges under the Liquor Licence Control Act
- 5 Public Intoxication charges under the Liquor Licence Control Act
- 2 Person Under 19 consuming alcohol charge under the Liquor Licence Control Act
- 1 Highway Traffic Act charges
There were an additional eight arrests for public intoxication under the Liquor Licence Control Act, as well as 71 noise/nuisance complaints in the University District, police said.
Criminal Code arrests also occurred in the University District over the weekend:
- 1 individual arrested for Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle
- 1 individual arrested for possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and possession of a concealed weapon
- 1 individual arrested for possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, possession of a concealed weapon, possession of proceeds of crime
“Large, unsanctioned crowd events like these put a great deal of extra pressure on paramedics and everyone working in emergency services,” said Frontenac Paramedics Chief Gale Chevalier. “I want to thank all our system partners and everyone who helped to preserve emergency medical capacity these last two weekends. I’d also like to thank the paramedics, police officers, firefighters, medical staff, and city enforcement officials who shouldered the risks of working these events.”
By-law Enforcement statistics for the weekend of Oct. 28 and 29, 2022, included a total of 92 AMPs, broken down as follows, according to the City:
- 4 for yelling or shouting – $400
- 35 for amplification of sound – $7,000
- 46 for failure to comply – $23,000
- 7 for attending, hosting, or sponsoring an aggravated nuisance party – $14,000
“City bylaw continues to work with Kingston Police to respond to these large gatherings through the University District. Our coordinated response has been successful in placing community safety first, however, we are concerned that students continually place themselves at risk by attending these unsafe street parties,” said Curtis Smith, Director of Licensing and Enforcement.