Despite seeing a similar number of attendees as last year, law enforcement reported fewer arrests and criminal activities this Halloween.
Officers arrested 251 party-goers and issued 488 citations over the weekend, a decrease from last year’s 311 arrests and 720 citations. Authorities say around 24,000 people roamed the streets of Isla Vista at the height of festivities Saturday, while Friday and Sunday had smaller turn-outs: around 9,000 and 4,000 people, respectively.
I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Ray Vuillemainroy said it appeared there was also a decrease in the amount of out-of-town visitors.
“Overall I felt it was a very successful Halloween with no major issues,” Vuillemainroy said. “The crowd was very light in comparison to recent years.”
Lt. Ray Vuillemainroy said he was pleased that a safe environment was ensured over the weekend.
“I had a chance to walk around and we had a couple of fights, but that is just it, only a few fights,” Vuillemainroy said. “The crowd was very cooperative and seemed to be in a positive mood, which to me is great.”
Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said she has noticed a steady decline in Halloween turnout since she began her Halloween walk three years ago.
“Obviously there were incidents and arrests, but I think overall it was a pretty mellow time considering all the people that were there,” Farr said. “This was my third year walking and the crowds seemed less this year than last, which was smaller than the year before that.”
In spite of a shrinking number of attendees in the last two years, Farr said authorities are expected to maintain the same level of presence in the future.
“As far as the enforcement, we never know for sure how many people will show up,” Farr said. “We have to prepare and be ready for the worst-case scenarios.”
Some however, felt the police presence was perhaps a little excessive.
UCSB’s External Vice President of Local Affairs Cori Lantz said she observed instances during a Halloween walk with Farr where certain officers were overtly aggressive toward students.
“I was a little bit disappointed toward the aggression from some of the law enforcement officers to people in the street,” Lantz said. “At the same time, I have talked with students who were very impressed with law enforcement and felt safe with them there.”
This year the Associated Students hosted an alcohol-free event in a public park in Isla Vista, showing movies and providing water, food and bathrooms for tired trick-or-treaters.
Lantz said the event was held to offer important public services over the holiday weekend.
“There were only about 40 or 50 people who showed up, but we gave out 1,000 water bottles and people were just really grateful to have bathrooms to use,” Lantz said. “It was really successful.”
In addition to arrests and citations, there were 41 incidents requiring medical attention and 34 requiring hospitalization.