More than 400 charges and fines were handed out during a weekend of back-to-school partying in Kingston, Ont., in what the city's acting police chief described as an "unsettling trend in reckless behaviours."
Twenty-four people were charged with drinking under the age of 19, four with public intoxication and 295 with open liquor, according to a media release shared by police and the city.
One charge for mischief under $5,000 was also handed out, along with nine highway traffic act charges.
The total represented a significant spike in tickets compared to last year, when city statistics show 44 people were charged for open liquor and two for public intoxication between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4, 2022.
"Last weekend's activities have shown an unsettling trend in reckless behaviours, as well as a lack of respect toward the community and all of its members," acting police chief Scott Fraser said in a news release.
Members of the police liaison team will continue to meet with students and residents around the University District to ensure the coming weekends are "peaceful, lawful and safe for everyone," he added.
Bylaw officers also issued far more in fines compared to last year's university move-in weekend.
In 2022, officers handed out 18 administrative monetary penalties for amplified sound, eight for yelling or shouting and four for nuisance parties.
By comparison, bylaw declared four nuisance parties this year and dolled out 42 penalties for amplified sound — each with a $200 fine.
Saturday also saw 65 tickets for failure to leave a nuisance party, each of which carried a $500 penalty.
The fines add up to a total of $40,900.
A 'hostile' environment for bylaw officers
"We are disappointed in the recent unsanctioned parties," Curtis Smith, Kingston's director of licensing and enforcement, said in a media release.
The parties "created hostile environments" for bylaw officers and community partners, he added, saying the city is prepared to continue issuing monetary penalties as required.
The charges come after the city announced the University District Safety Initiative, which increased police and bylaw presence in the area in order to try and cut down on the risk of large, unsanctioned parties.
That initiative will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 10.