London Police increase presence near campus with Project LEARN

A stock image of red and blue police lights CREDIT: ARTOLYMPIC
On Sept. 1, the London Police Service (LPS) announced that it would increase police presence with the launch of Project LEARN.

On Sept. 1, the London Police Service (LPS) announced that it would increase police presence within and around the communities near Fanshawe College and Western University through their annual Project LEARN. Project LEARN, effective since Sept. 1, stands for Liquor Enforcement and Reduction of Noise, which is a solution to the local community’s issues with students returning to the area at the start of each school year.

The project’s main focuses are on “inconsiderate” gatherings, open fires, noise, garbage, and public urination. Residents of London may notice more police officers in the downtown area and the areas near Western University and Fanshawe College throughout the month of September.

Corporate Communications and Media Relations Officer for the LPS, Sandasha Bough, said that as part of their commitment to the community, police are urging students to celebrate responsibly and to treat others with courtesy and respect.

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“The goal of this project is to provide public and property safety,” Bough said. “Throughout the upcoming weeks, we will share safety messages on our social media platforms to serve as reminders to the public and students.”

Bough stated that this project, implemented every September since 2007, has significantly reduced complaints throughout the month. She added that this project starts in September because it is when the universities and colleges start their academic years.

“During this time each year, we see and experience an increased number of people in London,” Bough said. “Most of those people are students.”

She said, “The keyword of this operation is responsibility,” because students are free to celebrate and enjoy that stage in their lives consciously and responsibly.

“Even though the student population dynamic has changed, we’re not seeing the same kinds of instances that we did frequently in 2007 or before,” Bough said.

Bough stated that respect and understanding of what is suitable and inappropriate has evolved due to what they are doing, which has transitioned to future generations of students.

“They have duties and responsibilities to care for themselves and others as community citizens,” Bough said.

According to Bough, members of the LPS Auxiliary Unit will be visiting neighbourhoods around Western University and Fanshawe College to educate and teach students about bylaws and crime prevention advice.

LPS Inspector Ryan Scrivens said they look forward to welcoming post-secondary students back to the city.

“We understand that the start of the school year is exciting,” Scrivens said. “We want to ensure that students know how to keep themselves, their friends, and our community safe while still enjoying this formative time.”

Bought stated that education is a critical component of this project, and they look forward to interacting with students to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations as London residents.

“LPS welcomes all students arriving for the start of sessions,” Bough said. “Be good neighbours and show consideration for everyone in the neighbourhood.”

Bough and Scrivens invited students to become aware of their campus’ safety protocols and resources, drink responsibly, have fun while being safe, and not attend nuisance or unlawful street parties.