Ten students from local schools including Boston University were arrested for alcohol-related offenses on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with several others summonsed to court, Boston Police Department officials said.
These charges are the result of BPD’s effort to increase weekend patrols in the lower part of Allston, including Gardner, Ashford and Pratt Streets, also known as the GAP, in order to reduce underage drinking.
“We’re dedicating several officers on nights where students tend to party, and their sole job is going to be riding around making sure things aren’t out of control,” said BPD Superintendent William Evans.
Evans said the offenses police are targeting include disorderly houses, underage drinking and disruptive behavior. In cases of parties where underage drinking is present, students on the lease will be arrested.
“Our goal is to stop the students from hosting these parties that get out of control, and we feel the quickest way to do that is to hold those responsible for hosting the parties,” he said. “Sometimes, we can take enforcement against the student visiting the home, but ultimately, the student hosting the party where minors are found should be held responsible.”
Allston residents voiced concerns at a recent community meeting, which prompted the increase in patrols, Evans said.
“A lot of the residents down there have put up with a lot of loud parties and vandalism and everything else,” he said. “This stepped-up effort will hopefully improve their living conditions.”
Evans said students hosting out-of-control parties will face criminal action from the BPD.
“If you’re going to host a party and you’re on the lease, you better make sure, number one, things don’t get out of control, and, number two, you don’t have students who are under the legal age of drinking,” Evans said.
Chenlong Zuo, a School of Public Health second-year graduate student who lives in the GAP area, said he did not notice a difference in police presence this weekend, but thinks the initiative will be helpful in reducing partying and underage drinking.
“It’s always good to know the news that they are increasing the police,” Zuo said.
West Campus resident Danielle Cutts, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said she noticed the change this weekend.
“Parties just ended sooner and everybody seems to be more on edge about partying, so there’s definitely a difference,” Cutts said.
Cutts said the increased patrols will only be partially effective.
“It already seems like it’s helped a little bit, but there’s still going to be parties and there’s still going to be drinking,” she said. “There’s only so much that people can do.”
Rachael Allen, a College of Communication sophomore, said the BPD’s initiative will not make an impact because students will grow to resent the police and their presence in the GAP area.
“They [the police] have other issues that they need to be more concerned with,” Allen said. “Hence, the three robberies that happened the other night.”
CAS senior Melina Vanos said increased police presence will not help prevent underage drinking and partying.
“I think they’ve tried to do this in the past and it really hasn’t done much,” she said. “I think since everyone knows where to get alcohol, just having the police around isn’t really going to stop them.”