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All hands on deck for St. Patrick’s Day

The Guelph Police Service has teamed up with the University of Guelph’s campus police and the city to plan for safe celebrations this March 17.
That day is St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on Monday this year, and it is a day when police typically see an increase in drunken celebrations.
“The big thing is getting the message out that there’s a line in the community around acceptable behaviour, and if you choose to cross that line there will be consequences,” Guelph Police Chief Bryan Larkin said.
There will be an increased police presence in the downtown, central and south end neighbourhoods this weekend and into Monday, as some people may make a weekend of celebrating the day, said Larkin.
Increased police visibility should help to deter undesirable behaviour, but police and bylaw officers will also be enforcing laws – writing tickets, breaking up illegal keg parties and the like, he said. They will also be working to ensure that licensed establishments are compliant with the Liquor Licence Act and other provincial laws and regulations.
Drivers should also expect to see R.I.D.E. spot checks throughout the weekend leading up to the celebration day.
Drinking and driving is one thing that won’t be tolerated, as is public drunkenness, said Larkin.
Though police are expecting the weekend to be busy, they expect Monday to be busier, he said.
“We’ve staffed accordingly,” he said, noting that the police service will continue to maintain its service levels in other areas of the city as well.
To help ensure safe celebrations, the University of Guelph’s Central Student Association will be sponsoring late night bus service on Monday, Larkin said.
University students can expect to get an email, which is going out en mass this week, reminding them about respectful celebrations during St. Patrick’s Day, as well as College Royal weekend March 15 and 16.
Citizens who have concerns about activities in their neighbourhoods, who spot unwanted behaviour or who see problems developing are being encouraged to report the incidents by contacting Guelph Police at 519-824-1212.
“There’s nothing wrong with celebrating, but be respectful,” said Larkin.

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