Gatherings in parks dropping, enforcement officers find

Weekend blitz of trouble areas reveal fewer people flouting social distancing rules, using parks facilities, city reports

Whether it’s due to the last hold-outs catching on to social distancing or to the public being scared away by police presence, the number of people congregating in parks seems to be falling, officials say.

Municipal Licensing and Standards officers have reported lighter use of some busy parks during this past weekend’s enforcement blitz, according to a city press release.

A total of 360 officers have been delegated to visit the most troublesome parks this weekend from April 10 to 13. Areas to be given special attention include 10 parks across Toronto, including Sherwood Park, Sunnybrook Park and Woodbine Beach.

On Saturday, officers reportedly spoke with 286 people in parks about social distancing and use of park facilities, an 83 per cent decrease from Friday.

Complaints to 311 about behaviour in parks decreased by almost 39 per cent on the same day.

The city’s enforcement team is now focused on stricter enforcement in 20 high-use parks, according to the press release, moving from educating those not observing public health recommendations to almost exclusively issuing tickets.

Officers gave out 48 tickets on Saturday, about a third of the total issued since enforcement began on April 3.

Tickets up to $1,000 may be issued to those not complying with social distancing rules and fines of up to $750 may be imposed for failing to identify oneself correctly to an officer investigating these matters.



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Posted: Apr 12 2020 7:16 pm
Filed in: NEWS