Patrol officers will be visiting Mountain parks frequently
By Mark Newman, News staff
Getting caught drinking alcohol in a Mountain park will cost you $125 and under the city’s bylaw you can expect a similar fine if you are found loitering in a park between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
“We’re going to be showing zero tolerance,” said acting sergeant Stephen Whalen, a Hamilton police Mountain crime manager. “If you get caught, you’re going to be fined.”
With the return of warmer weather and the schools set to let out for the summer, Hamilton police will be stepping up their nighttime visits to Mountain parks and playgrounds in the coming days.
Whalen said they will be looking to keep a lid on loitering youths, noise and other problems.
“One of the biggest things about parks is in the evening hours, it all starts with loitering and noise and a lot of that goes unreported,” said Whalen. “When it goes unreported, what happens is the groups seem to grow and once the groups start to grow it goes from noise, it goes from loitering to drinking and smoking drugs and doing graffiti and all those criminal things.”
If residents see or hear people loitering in a city park after dark, they are encouraged to report it to the Mountain crime manager’s office at 905-546-2447.
“If it’s nine, 10, 11 o’clock at night, these things have to be reported to us,” said Whalen, who noted residents should call 911 if they deem it to be an emergency.
Police have already begun keeping a close eye on some green spots, including Peace Memorial Park at Crockett and East 36th and Captain Cornelius Park in the Limeridge and West 5th area.
“Peace Memorial Park seems to be the biggest hot spot right now,” Whalen said. “There’s lots of complaints of drug use, there’s lots of complaints of graffiti.”
Police will also be paying frequent visits to Mount Albion Falls looking for bush parties and people walking or hiking in areas deemed off limits or unsafe.