Leave your pepper spray at home
Attendance is up at the 2012 Calgary Stampede. Photo: Cole Grey, Compass Studio.
By Beacon Staff
Despite an increase in calls for service, the Calgary Police Service says the Stampede has so far been safe with no serious incidents reported.
The police have received on average 80-90 calls per day; a roughly 18 per cent increase in calls from last year’s event.
“But that can be explained of the fact there is a 25 per cent increase in people,” said Staff Sgt. Rob Van Gastel. “Obviously with more people, there’s a likelihood that there will be more incidents and requests for services.”
No serious incidents like stabbings had transpired as of Friday afternoon. Assaults and other violence is down by 20 per cent, while calls for drug use is up 50 per cent – a number Van Gastel says should balance out by the end of Sunday.
“That could be a statistical anomaly. It’s not necessarily something significant,” he said.
Police have seized a larger amount of pepper spray coming into the park this year through random searches. But Van Gastel says so far, so good.
“Having down this for the last five years, we’re on par with previous years and there’s no significant trend that’s causing us concern,” he said.
CPS have uniformed and plain clothes officers patrolling the park to enhance the Stampede’s security. While presence will be heightened over the last weekend, Van Gastel isn’t expecting anything too serious.
“This has been a safe event and we’re very happy with the way things have played out,” he said. “We’re heading into the busiest weekend of Stampede and we’re ready if the circumstance should arise.
“It’s been an excellent Stampede.”
Get your share of Pancakes!
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