Once again, Saanich Police had their hands full over the weekend dealing with, at times, hundreds of rowdy and sometimes aggressive partygoers at University of Victoria (UVic).
Over the Halloween weekend, video taken from a room on the upper floors at UVic residences near the location known as “Parking Lot 1” shows hundreds of people gathered chanting and yelling, and openly drinking as fireworks are set off.
Fireworks were also set off into the crowd of partygoers on several occasions causing the large group of people to scatter at once.
Saanich Police Const. Markus Anastasiades said officers in a police cruiser were also surrounded by a mob, and there were several intoxicated, underage youth who required medical attention by police and paramedics.
“In the wake of this weekend’s mass gatherings at the University of Victoria, the Saanich Police Department is working with the university to prevent future gatherings on campus that are unsafe and putting all those in attendance at risk,” said Anastasiades.
According to the police detachment, unauthorized and unlawful gatherings have been occurring every weekend since the start of semester in September.
While many of those in attendance are not from the university, students from UVic are also actively participating.
“Our officers have been assisting UVic Campus Security officers on weekends as they deal with crowds of up to 1000 young persons who have been descending upon the campus to consume alcohol, commit assaults, property damage, and disorderly conduct that verge on the brink of rioting,” Anastasiades said.
Officers assigned to patrols fear someone will get seriously hurt and that it is in the public’s interest that these unlawful gatherings no longer occur.
Moving forward, Saanich police say they will set up “proactive” road blocks and increase foot patrols at the University of Victoria on weekends to clamp down on a rash of large drunken parties that they say border on riots.
Police said they will be enforcing the Trespass Act, Liquor Control and Licensing Act, “and any other statute that applies to those who are not lawfully permitted on campus and in contravention of these and other relevant laws.”
Video obtained by CTV shows the rowdy crowd chanting and fireworks being shot into the large group of people, nearly causing a stampede.