Toronto enforcement teams laid 230 charges in one week while responding to gatherings
Toronto has new dedicated enforcement teams tasked with handling reports of large illegal gatherings in the city, of which there have been many, and they laid a total of 230 charges in just their first week of operation.
Toronto police said in a news release issued Friday that officers from the 16 teams have responded to 315 incidents since April 22, including 105 calls about gatherings since Monday of this week alone.
"The pandemic presents both public health and public safety risks," inspector Matt Moyer said in the release. "We have an enforcement team in every Division across the city and officers are dispersing large gatherings daily and laying charges against those who are ignoring the emergency order."
0430 11:20 Tps’ Dedicated Enf Teams Lay 230 Chgs In 1st Week, Pub...r Over Weekend https://t.co/Qv8flbhHjs— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) April 30, 2021
Police say the teams have been mostly focused on large indoor events at short-term rentals as well as in closed bars and restaurants — an approach they say is informed by public health advice that indoor settings present an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The majority of calls for these kinds of incidents are happening in Toronto's downtown core, according to police, but teams are nonetheless responding to reports across the city.
While officers have been responding to calls about large indoor gatherings since pandemic restrictions were first introduced, these new enforcement teams represent a larger effort to crack down on illegal indoor events and reduce transmission of deadly variants of concern.
"As we head in to the weekend, we are discouraging anyone who is thinking of attending or hosting a gathering, and reminding them that, if they do, they may very well expect the police in attendance as well," Moyer said. "Please work with us to keep the city safe. Don't attend parties or large gatherings. Stay home and stay safe."
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