Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A REAL 'Fight Club'-at University of Manitoba???

Police not investigating alleged fight club at U of M

The Canadian Press

Updated: Wed. Jan. 20 2010 5:02 PM ET
WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police say they are not investigating the existence of a so-called "fight club" at the University of Manitoba.
Although fight clubs are illegal under the "prize fighting" provision of the Criminal Code, city police say they will not be pursuing charges and referred all calls to the Winnipeg school.
Allegations of a fight club operating on campus late last year came to light earlier this week.
An internal university investigation was launched after several men were seen leaving the university's squash courts with bloodied faces and officials were told about a Facebook page with 87 members discussing fights at the facility.
The university said the incident has been dealt with internally. It has disciplined several students and a staff member, suspending them from the recreational facility for a month.
The university initially handed recreation facility suspensions to all members of the Facebook group who held passes. But that list was whittled down to four students and one staff member.
The other 82 members of the Facebook group were not deemed to be participants and the Facebook page has since been removed.
Police declined to provide anyone to explain why they aren't investigating.
One criminal law expert says it's not surprising police aren't pursuing the matter.
Sanjeev Anand, professor of law at the University of Alberta, said few people realize fight clubs are illegal and those involved aren't inclined to report them.
The Hollywood movie "Fight Club," starring Brad Pitt, made famous the line: "The first rule of fight club is: you do not talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is: you do not talk about fight club"
"Fight clubs are happening but they're secret. They don't come to the attention of the authorities," said Anand, adding busting up fight clubs usually isn't a top priority for police.
"They consider this almost a consensual crime."
Even if police do get a tip about a fight club, Anand said investigating and laying charges is not easy.
"Most of the actions of the police are reactive, not proactive so you need a complaint from the public triggering the investigation," he said. "If they become aware of it, they can go and investigate ... Even then, police would have to find witnesses, willing individuals to come forward to testify."
It's not the first time fight club allegations have come up in Manitoba.
Last September, police in Brandon busted up an alleged group called Brandon Beat Down. Police allege the group staged bouts at school yards and public parks around the southern Manitoba city.
Local police started investigating after some parents complained about their teens getting injured in fights. Police said some 100 teens and young adults belonged to the group. A 19-year-old Manitoba man was charged with public mischief.

No comments:

Post a Comment