'Project Learn' being called discriminatory
An eight-year-old project by the London Police Service, ‘Project Learn’ is being called discriminatory against students.
During ‘Project Learn’ police target areas of the city that typically have more complaints about loud noise and rowdy partying, and that tends to include student areas near Western University and Fanshawe College.
Those who live in student-heavy neighbourhoods like Eunice Diamond say they are happy to have police around.
“Students aren't out to be horrible, but when they know the police are watching, they're a lot better.”
But students say they're all being painted with the same brush, and now one man is challenging the constitutionality of ‘Project Learn.’
Gerald Parker, executive director of The Institute of Canadian Justice, is writing letters to the provincial government and the City of London.
He says “There has to be a balance. And creating a situation where all kids are tarred and feathered as the same, I take exception to that. Those kids take exception to that.”
Parker’s son has been ticketed under ‘Project Learn.’
But police say the project doesn't unfairly target students, despite the fact that enforcement is largely in student areas.
In the first two weeks of September, police handed out 940 provincial offence notices in almost equal numbers – 491 to students and 449 to others.
They've also laid 29 criminal charges - six against students and 23 against others.
Const. Ken Steeves says “We don't make the laws, we enforce them. The purpose of the laws is to ensure that not only the students themselves, but people within the neighbourhood have a lawful enjoyment of their homes and their properties.”
Western University’s student council president has also spoken out on the issue in the past and says he'd like to see more education rather than heavy fines for students.