Regional police laid a total of 604 charges during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this year, a report from the police services board meeting says.

With peak attendance numbers over 33,000, a record high, police say there was also a record number of calls for service and charges laid in 2019.

The charge numbers are up from a March report which said that 514 charges were laid, resulting in a significant increase from the 495 charges laid the year before.

“The total attendance for the day was significantly higher as the estimate cannot account for the number of persons on porches, inside properties or in backyards, or those who came and left before or after the peak crowd size was reached,” the report says in part.

The most common offences were for alcohol and traffic violations. Altogether, 11 charges were laid under the criminal code and 22 people were arrested. Arrest numbers are similar to the year before, police say.

Police responded to a total of 291 calls for service during the 2019 festivities, also a record high.

The costs of planning and staffing for the events, which centred around Ezra Avenue, totaled $286,400, the report says.

Those numbers are broken down as follows:

  • Overtime: $152,000
  • Non-overtime Salaries: $25,100
  • External Policing-Peel: $40,000
  • Planning and Analysis: $64,700
  • Logistics: $4,600
  • Total: $286,400

According to the report, auxiliary officers supplied 380 hours of volunteer time over 81 shifts.

This year's costs were down from $330,000 the year before, a reduction due in large part to a one-time purchase of additional radio equipment worth $38,000.