Lack of police resources meant ‘law and order’ could not be maintained in Wasaga Beach, mayor says


Lack of police resources prevented the maintenance of “law and order” during a chaotic rally of unauthorized cars in Wasaga Beach last weekend, the town’s mayor said.

“A group of individuals participating in an unauthorized car rally visited our community and broke the law. This included reckless and dangerous driving, driving dangerous vehicles, damaging public and private property, breaking into businesses, disturbing the peace and endangering people’s lives,” the mayor said. Nina Bifolichi.

Bifolchi said the city met with the Ontario Provincial Police prior to the event and police indicated a plan was in place and illegal activity would be met with “zero tolerance.”

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2 Ontario Provincial Police cruisers vandalized during a violent night in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

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  • 2 Ontario Provincial Police cruisers vandalized during a violent night in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

“The city greatly appreciates the men and women who wear the uniform of the Ontario Provincial Police and patrol our streets, but it is clear that police resources this past weekend did not permit the vigorous response required to maintain law and order,” she said.

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“Many examples have been brought to the city’s attention where laws have been broken and no police action has been observed. This is unacceptable to the residents of Wasaga Beach.

Videos on social media appear to show various vehicles performing stunts, as well as rowdy crowds gathering on the road.

The Ontario Provincial Police said two police cruisers were vandalized and there was property damage at two stores, including a burglary.

Bifolchi said community safety was “repeatedly endangered” during the event.

“The city has no authority over the OPP, but we are calling on the authorities within the OPP to look into what happened and take action to ensure there is never any backlash. repetition of what we have witnessed,” she said.

Bifolchi also called on Solicitor General Michael Kerzner to ensure the police department is “properly equipped and prepared” to ensure Wasaga Beach never sees a repeat of what happened.

Click to play the video: “Police vehicles damaged during violent weekend in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

Police vehicles damaged during a violent weekend in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

Police vehicles damaged during a violent weekend in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

A spokesperson for Kerzner said the behavior seen in the city over the weekend was “completely unacceptable” and called on anyone with information to contact authorities.

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“The government does not interfere with or direct police operational decisions, including in response to community incidents,” the spokesperson added.

“However, we will continue to provide police services and community partners with the resources and support they need to fight crime and keep Ontarians safe.

Bifolchi added that people have asked why the city doesn’t close its municipal borders to “noisy” attendees and turn around.

“We have been advised that this is not a legal option,” she said.

Bifolchi said the city also attempted to contact those associated with the rally before the event, asking them to follow their special events process, but never received a response.

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“Once again, I call on the motor rally community to consider working with us. Organized and safe gathering is possible here,” she said.

The Ontario Provincial Police said 191 charges were laid between Friday and Sunday, 154 of which were traffic related.

Thirty-seven counts were speed-related, 18 were for an improper or missing muffler, and six were for unnecessary noise.

Three drivers were also charged with impaired driving as officers conducted two RIDE checks.

Police responded to a total of 327 calls for service.

The Ontario Provincial Police said investigations into the weekend’s events are ongoing.

“There are numerous active investigations into the incidents that occurred at Wasaga Beach this past weekend,” police said.

“The Ontario Provincial Police will conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations holding those responsible accountable.”

Wasaga Beach residents and visitors who have not yet reported property damage or other crimes for the weekend are asked to contact the Huronia West OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers so anonymous at 1-800-222-8477.

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