Rondeau Park visitors office. May 24, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham Kent)

Police Preparing For Rowdy Rondeau Parties

You can expect to see a significant police presence at provincial parks in Chatham-Kent over the Victoria Day Long Weekend.

Chatham-Kent OPP are issuing an early reminder that there will be an alcohol ban in effect at Rondeau and Wheatley Provincial Parks and that they will be teaming up with Ontario Parks officials to enforce a “zero tolerance” policy.

While the alcohol ban is in place, anyone who is found with alcohol within the parks will be kicked out for 72 hours and could face charges under the Liquor Licence Act, the Trespass to Property Act or the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act.

This year, the ban will start on May 12 and will continue through to May 21.

In 2017, police kicked out 114 campers from 19 different campsites at Rondeau Provincial Park throughout the course of the May long weekend. Officers also laid dozens of charges against several campers — those offences included assault and impaired driving.

“The Ontario Provincial Police will be using all available resources, including our aircraft and personnel over the Victoria Day weekend to crack down on aggressive and distracted drivers, those who drink and drive and those who fail to buckle up, on both our highways and in our provincial parks,” said Chatham-Kent OPP Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant Dean Croker in a release.

OPP said warning posters have also been issued to area schools, letting students know the rules and consequences of breaking those rules if they plan to go camping in Wheatley or Rondeau over the long weekend.

One of those reminders is that “the registered owner of a campsite in a provincial park is liable for any violations that occur on that site, regardless of whether they are occupying it or not.”

Provincial police are expected to release more details of their enforcement plans next week.