Police are stepping up patrols along Regina's Dewdney Avenue bar strip after a series of fights sent seven people to hospital last weekend.

Effective immediately, extra officers will be patrolling the city's warehouse district every Friday and Saturday night.

"What we're hoping to do is be proactive and get there before the problem starts -- intervene and interact with these people to deter the unwanted behavior before it turns into a criminal act," said Regina police Insp. Robert Dean.

Some of the officers will be reassigned from quieter areas of the city, while others will be brought in thanks to funding from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Police say crowd control will be the main focus. The officers will also be targeting underage drinkers and liquor-related offences.

But increased patrols and enforcement are only part of the plan. Police say they also want to meet regularly with bar owners and staff to teach them how to identify fake IDs, and to get suggestions on improving policing in the area.

The initiative isn't new. Last year, officers conducted special bar patrols along the strip during particularly busy weekends.

Based on a report by Dale Hunter, CTV Regina