press release - 10311601

Streets of Isla Vista Halloween 2016


Streets of Isla Vista Halloween 2016

A Safe and Uneventful Halloween in Isla Vista


Isla Vista - November 1st, 2016


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to report that, for the third year in a row, Halloween in Isla Vista was safe and uneventful.  This year Halloween fell on a Monday which historically has attracted a large crowd the night of Halloween and the weekend prior.  The attendance this year over the four-day period from Friday through Monday was significantly less than a typical weekend in Isla Vista.  The partygoers were mostly locals and the only large crowd that gathered was on Saturday night outside the Thunderdome, where thousands of students lined up to attend a UCSB student-only concert. 


Not only has the attendance declined each year the past several years but so has the number of arrests, citations and medical transports.  Please note when reviewing the numbers that the number of days of the Halloween Operation in Isla Vista differ depending on the year.  Also, the arrest and citation numbers include both Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and University of California Police Department statistics.


2013 (4 days) 2014 (2 days) 2015 (2 days)  2016 (four days)

Crowd Estimate: 12-15,000 2-3,000 500-1,000 No crowd  

Arrests:  225  42  45  26

Citations:  249  68  44  46

Medical Transports:    51  11     9   13


The Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency reports that the number of medical transports was lower than a typical weekend in Isla Vista.  This year, as is typical of previous years, all of the medical transports were alcohol related with the exception of one bicycle accident. 


The Sheriff’s Office wants to once again thank the students of UCSB and Santa Barbara City College for their cooperation and willingness to party responsibly, help protect their community and for not inviting out-of-towners.  We also want to thank the student volunteers with UCIV who assisted law enforcement again this year by passing out water and reminding students of important rules and ordinances. 


The Sheriff’s Office also attributes the decreased numbers in both attendance and arrests to comprehensive campaigns on the part of the University of California Santa Barbara and the Isla Vista Safe Committee.  The campaigns discouraged out of towners from attending and promoted a sense of pride and accountability for the reputation of the community.  The Sheriff’s Office also appreciates the support from the Isla Vista community, including property owners and managers. 


The University sponsored concert and a variety of student-only centered activities were also critical in the success of the weekend in that the activities provided an alternative to partying and promoted a “locals only” vibe.  The Festival Ordinance which prohibits amplified music and strict parking restrictions also played key roles in discouraging out-of-towners from coming to the area.  The Sheriff’s Office appreciates the City of Goleta for once again enacting resident-only parking restrictions in adjacent areas. 


Due to a reduction in crowds and incidents over the past several years, the Sheriff’s Office was able to reduce the number of law enforcement and other resources this year for the Halloween Operation.  Despite the decrease in Sheriff’s deputies and UCPD officers from previous years, there was still a strong law enforcement presence which the Sheriff’s Office believes is important to ensure the safety of the community.


The Sheriff’s Office wants to recognize and appreciate the many public safety officials who were a part of the keeping Isla Vista safe including the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center, Emergency Management Services Agency, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Probation, Alcohol Beverage and Control, Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and the University of California Police Department which included officers from UCSB and officers from other UC campuses.



For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

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