By in news on Sep 07, 2017 |

The London Police Service has announced that its controversial Project L.E.A.R.N. program will start today, September 7.

“L.E.A.R.N.” stands for Liquor Enforcement and Reduction of Noise.

Until October 1, the LPS will have increased patrols in neighbourhoods around Western and focus on enforcement of public nuisance bylaws.

“There will be a balanced approach with enforcement of by-laws and warnings relating to parties, parking, open fires, noise, litter, and public urination,” the London Police said in a statement.

“The members of the London Police Service, Western University's Student Council, and Fanshawe Student Union are asking that those celebrating this weekend do so responsibly.”

Over the past few years, L.E.A.R.N. has attracted complaints and controversy from both Western and Fanshawe students. In particular, students have complained of receiving fines in the hundreds of dollars with minimal warning from the police.

Last year, London Police charged 37 with criminal offences as part of L.E.A.R.N. – 14 of those charged were students.

In terms of offence notices, 254 were doled out, with 119 going to students.

Though offence notices to students went down in 2016 compared to 2015, nine more students were charged with criminal offences.

The program also includes extra patrols downtown and in Fanshawe student neighbourhoods.