Anti-social behaviour penalties hiked

Rowdies in Lacombe could pay a steep price for their misbehaviour under a New Community Standards Bylaw. Council approved the bylaw last week to provide peace officers and police with more flexibility when dealing with anti-social behaviour. Fines range depending on the offence. Fighting in a public place can land someone a $500 fine on first offence.

Rowdies in Lacombe could pay a steep price for their misbehaviour under a New Community Standards Bylaw.

Council approved the bylaw last week to provide peace officers and police with more flexibility when dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Fines range depending on the offence. Fighting in a public place can land someone a $500 fine on first offence.

Spitting in public can draw a $150 fine, loitering can mean a $250 ticket and panhandling $75. Penalties double and triple for subsequent offences.

The bylaw also tackles bullying. Youths face a first-time fine of $125 and adults $500.

Graffiti vandals face some of the steepest penalties. A first-time offence means a $2,500 fine.

That doubles, then triples for repeat offenders.

“The issue of public and private property being defaced is a particular annoyance for both businesses and residents alike,” says Lacombe chief administrative officer Norma MacQuarrie in a statement.

“The new bylaw provides for a significant monetary penalty that should discourage offenders from further engaging in such behaviour.”

Noisy drinking establishments will face a $2,000 fine on first offence, $5,000 the next time and $10,000 if there is still more trouble.

The bylaw also gives the authorities the power to take minors home during curfew hours. Parents and guardians could face a $100 fine if found to have knowingly allowed youngsters to roam around during curfew without a good explanation.

A number of Central Alberta communities have passed similar bylaws.