Photo of street party on "fake Homecoming" weekend from Twitter @lpsmediaoffice

Fake Homecoming Costly Danger To Public

A street bash that was in blatant defiance of Western University’s push to curb unsanctioned homecoming partying saw 37 people taken to hospital and more than 60 charges laid.

London police released the statistics from last Saturday’s so-called Fake Homecoming party on Broughdale Ave. on Tuesday. The event brought an estimated 11,000 people to the dead-end street in north London.

On Saturday, between 10am and 4pm, Middlesex EMS received 34 calls to the area.

“Of those, 24 patients were transported to hospital, including one with a serious head and spinal injury after having fallen off a roof,” said MLEMS Superintendent Adam Bennett.

Ten were assessed and treated on scene.

Another 13 people were taken to hospital between 5pm and 4am Sunday, as the parties moved to other areas.

In total, paramedics responded to 35 intoxicated people, seven drug overdoses, seven traumatic injuries, two assaults, and three people who were hit by cars.

The majority of those taken to hospital and treated by emergency crews were 18 and 19 years of age.

The large gathering that filled the street made it extremely difficult for paramedics to reach those who were in medical distress, EMS and London police said in a joint statement.

“There are many challenges and real concerns around some of the irresponsible behaviour exemplified by what we saw Saturday on Broughdale Ave. and all the spill-off parties in the area,” said Deputy Police Chief Daryl Longworth. “Our greatest fear is that someone is going to die or will be in serious medical distress and we will be unable to get EMS personnel in to assist due to the size of the crowds.”

Extra police officers were called in to deal with the massive crowd of revellers, at a cost of $31,000. That figure is expected to rise as additional costs are still being calculated.

“We brought in dozens of extra officers that day, which doesn’t include those in specialized units taken away from their regular duties. In addition, many other on regular patrol were required to respond to the spin-off parties happening elsewhere in the city. This is a significant financial drain on our organization that is ultimately paid for by London taxpayers,” Longworth said.

Police said the statistics demonstrate the “very real danger to public safety” presented by the unsanctioned event.

During the nearly 20 hour event, officers responded to 47 noise complaints or disturbances, eight public nuisance charges were laid, with three more pending. Eight people were arrested and 50 were given tickets for alcohol and trespassing offences. Two people were charged for criminal offences and one was charged with a drug offence. Nearly 1,000 warnings for a wide range of offences were also issued.

The Broughdale Ave. event was a response from students to the University’s decision to move the official Homecoming celebrations from September to late October for a second year in a row. University officials moved the annual function as a way of curbing rowdy student partying as October brings cooler weather and mid-terms, which deter street parties.