Hamilton police have launched investigations into multiple swarming incidents at the Ancaster Fair over the weekend, the latest in a recent uptick of “aggressive behaviour” among teens at local fairs and festivals.
Officers say that several incidents involving teens were reported Saturday at the fair.
In one of these cases, the victim was swarmed and robbed of their property before being taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The incidents occurred just one day after police issued a statement warning of the upward trend in aggressive and violent behaviour in teens at these events.
Ahead of the fair this weekend, police said they would be “taking measures to address these issues and ensure the safety of festival-goers” though these measures have not been specified.
The first reported incident occurred at an unknown location just before 10:30 p.m. on August 4 when a group of teens resorted to “physical violence” to rob a young male of his cross-body bag. A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection to the robbery.
At the Winona Peach Festival on August 26, reports came in from multiple parents concerned about children being victimized by other youths and additional physical alterations among teens that occurred throughout the festival.
A third incident occurred at the Binbrook Fair on Sept. 16 around 7:15 p.m. when a physical altercation occurred between two young girls. Police say over 50 bystanders actively encouraged the incident as they stood by filming.
Police initially issued a statement of concern over the growing number of incidents ahead of the Ancaster Fair and the Rockton Fair coming in just a few weeks “not to discourage attendance at these cherished community events, but to enhance safety and security.”
In the wake of the increase in incidents, officers advise that attendees avoid displaying valuable goods, travel in groups, and stay vigilant.