Pubdate: Wed, 21 Mar 2012
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2012 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Gordon Kent, Edmonton Journal 


The city should look at banning raves after trouble occurred at the
last event despite a push to make them safer, Coun. Dave Loken says.

Seven patrons were taken to hospital with drug overdoses, 14 calls
were made to the Sexual Assault Centre and 17 minor medical issues
were reported after a Feb. 19 dance party at the Shaw Conference
Centre, a report released Tuesday says.

About 5,000 people attended the Annual Frequency Rave, supervised by
police at a cost of $20,000, the report says.

There was also security provided by the centre and organizer Boondang
Canada, which developed a plan to reduce drug use and safety problems,
and spent $13,000 hiring o - duty officers to keep an eye on

While the report indicates larger numbers of sta from police and other
government agencies meant the show was better managed, it says the
drugs, overdoses and calls to the Sexual Assault Centre remain a concern.

"When thousands of attendees at an electronic event are under the
influence of drugs, it places Edmonton Police Service in a situation
where they cannot possibly deal with every individual case," the
report says.

"As a result, it may appear to the public that Edmonton Police Service
tolerates this behaviour and is condoning an anything goes event."

Loken said he'll have questions when the issue comes up Wednesday at
council's executive committee.

"When promoters were before us at a previous executive committee
meeting, we were very specific - they needed to clean up their act,
they needed to take some responsibility for what goes on at these
events," Loken said. "I don't think that has happened. I think
(Wednesday) we need to take a serious look at whether we allow these
things to continue."

He's particularly concerned the next rave set for April 2728 at the
Northlands Expo Centre is expected to attract 24,000 people, and
appears to be trying to circumvent the rules by running only from 3
p.m. to 3 a.m.

At this point, the show is scheduled to have 30 to 35 police officers
on hand each day, fewer than at the Shaw rave, the report says.

"My questions about that (upcoming) event are going to be: 'Can we
resource it properly, given the past event where all these things
occurred?' " Loken said.

"What's going to happen at this event, with more people, a bigger
venue and longer hours? The whole thing is every concerning to me."

While Coun. Karen Leibovici agreed the number of incidents at the Shaw
rave weren't desirable, she wants more information before deciding
whether stricter rules are needed.

She would like to know how the problems at this event compare to
issues seen in downtown bars. 
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