News / Halifax

Police launch new strategy to curb assaults downtown

When you head downtown to the bar this summer, you might notice a few extra people there: Police.

Halifax Regional Police are revamping their Downtown Safety Strategy in an effort to reduce alcohol-related crimes in the core.

The strategy, which started last weekend and runs until October, will have targeted police patrols in the bar region from 12 to 5 a.m. Thursday to Saturday. Sundays will also be included on long weekends.

An HRP press release put out Wednesday stated that the majority of assaults on Peninsular Halifax occur in the downtown bar district on weekends in the early morning hours.

“The message we want out is this type of behaviour, fighting and being really in public is not going to be accepted,” said Const. Brian Palmeter.

Officers on the downtown beat will wear traffic vests so they are more visible and can be more engaged with the public. They will also walk through bars to look for individuals who have had too much to drink.

According to the strategy, police will request that those involved in violent incidents be added to the Patron Accountability Safety and Service (PASS) program list so they are barred from all participating establishments.

More public-disturbance charges will be laid for fighting and released individuals charged with a violent offence will now be under more strict conditions.

“We want downtown to be safe for everyone to enjoy. People going downtown and getting into fights affects the people’s view of our downtown and it’s got to stop,” said Palmeter.

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