Expect to see more police and by-law officers in West Hamilton this week


Police officers on bicycles and in patrol cars will spend more time in West Hamilton this week. Although the number of complaints about noisy parties has decreased over the past few years, Regional Police and city noise by-law officers are working together with McMaster to try to ensure students understand that the community expects a certain level of behaviour.

“Most students are great,” says chief noise control officer Frank Westaway. “But there are times that parties get too big and when you throw in alcohol there are plenty of potential problems.”

One common misunderstanding students often have is that noisy parties or playing a stereo outside is okay if it's in the middle of the day. Westaway says it's a common myth that noise is fine until 11 p.m. It isn't.

“The noise by-law is in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Everyone who lives in the house can be charged if there's too much noise. My message to students is be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

Property standards and parking will also receive special attention from the City of Hamilton. Usually property standards and parking offences are dealt with on a complaint basis, but for the first two weeks of September by-law officers will patrol the neighbourhoods around the University, and issue tickets for garbage, illegally parked vehicles and other offences.

The ticketing system has also changed this year. Instead of issuing orders to comply, officers will issue tickets under the Provincial Offences Act. Fines are significantly higher and can be laid against both the landlord and tenant. For example, if you are ticketed for having a couch on your front lawn, the automatic fine is now $180. Other fines have also increased.