Police worried about increased robberies and “swarmings” by young people in Hamilton


Published September 22, 2023 at 6:15 pm

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Police say they’ve noticed a “concerning uptick” in violent encounters at festivals and fairs involving young people in Hamilton.

Today (Sept. 22), Hamilton police said officers noticed an increase in robberies and “swarming incidents” at community festivals and fairs over the summer months.

“These incidents have raised concerns within the community, and the Hamilton Police Service is taking measures to address these issues and ensure the safety of festival-goers,” police said in a news release.

Police say three incidents have caused some alarm.

Just before 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 4, police allege a group of youths surrounded a young male and violently robbed him of his crossbody bag. A 15-year-old boy was arrested and charged with robbery. On Aug. 26, similar incidents reportedly occurred at the Peach Festival, with parents reporting their children were victimized by other youths.

Police also say “various physical altercations among teenagers” were reported.

According to police, another incident involving two young girls occurred around 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Binbrook Fair. Police allege that 50 onlookers encouraged the altercation and filmed it before police intervened.

“As we lead into the Ancaster Fair this weekend and the Rockton Fair next month, it is essential to emphasize that our intention is not to discourage attendance at these cherished community events, but to enhance safety and security,” police said.

Police are advising residents attending the upcoming fairs to avoid displaying valuables, travel in groups and remain vigilant.

“If something feels off or suspicious, do not hesitate to seek assistance from event security or the police,” police said in a news release.

Anyone with information about any incidents is asked to contact the Division One Staff Sergeant at 905-546-4725.

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