Some say they’re being too strict. Others, not strict enough.
There was no shortage of opinions at Wednesday night’s public input meeting at City Hall, where residents had the chance to sound off on Police efforts to control student rowdiness in off-campus neighbourhoods surrounding Western University and Fanshawe College.
The city’s Town and Gown committee organized the meeting after it was revealed Officers went door-to-door in heavily student-populated areas, collecting the personal information of renters living there.
The information was purged from their records days later, but the London Police called on the community to step up their efforts to come up with long-term solutions.
The strategy attracted plenty of controversy in September, but the focus at Wednesday night’s meeting focused primarily on the zero-tolerance approach to by-law enforcement in heavily student-populated areas.
An Old North resident told CTV London many people don’t realize what it’s like living near students.
“It’s a constant noise violation, which has serious impacts on your day-to-day being. This is really what it’s about, it’s not about the odd party that goes into the wee hours. It’s like night after night,” she said.
Other residents living near campus urged Police to continue stepping up their approach.
“There’s a lack of enforcement in our area. I’ve had people urinating on my house,” one resident said.
However, many students who took to the podium argued zero-tolerance does more harm than good.
“Why does that have to be the very first step? I think what we’re saying is ‘why can’t there be any sort of warning? Hey guys, you’re being too loud, we’ve gotten complaints, shut it down, and if we have a reason to come back, you’re done’,” one student said.
Police Chief Brad Duncan appeared to be open to considering re-introducing warning for students, but no decisions were made at the meeting.
He plans to organize another meeting in the near future to review the feedback they received, and decide how they’ll move forward.