Police confirm extra boots on the ground for Byron Schoolies
ALONG with the thousands of school leavers expected to descend on Byron Bay for the Schoolies Celebration over the next two weeks will come an increased police presence.
Tweed/Byron Police District Officer in Charge at Byron Bay, Detective Chief Inspector Matt Kehoe fronted the media on Thursday to encourage the Schoolies to "Party safely and know your limits.”
"Drugs and alcohol impairs your judgment and can lead to risky behaviours or choices which can impact the rest of your life,” he said.
"Look out for your mates, we want this to be a memorable time for all Schoolies - but for the right reasons.”
Chief Inspector Kehoe would not be drawn on possible police tactics, including strip searches and the use or sniffer dogs, but did confirm there would be upwards of 20-30 extra police in the sector each day over Schoolies.
"Police are very well briefed as to what their powers are but I can't go into the operational side of things,” he said.
"We will also be working closely with the Schoolies Safety Response agencies, which include Byron Youth Service and Red Frog volunteers to enhance the safety and responsible behaviour of young people, while minimising the disruption to local communities.
"I would also like visitors to be aware of local conditions, that there is smoke haze around, if you need a puffer make sure you bring it.
"Make sure you are aware of what is happening immediately outside the Byron area where we have had fires, so check with the RFS before deciding to go see the surrounding sights.”
Matt Kehoe said the extra resources would come from the Public Order and Riot squad, mounted police, an operational support group as well as Traffic and Highway Patrol officers and Youth Command.
He said said police will be targeting drug and alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
"We aren't here to ruin the fun - our officers will be around and are there for your safety; approach police or authorities if you are in danger, if you feel threatened or you are a victim of any type of crime.
"Thousands of people are expected to fill Byron Bay, and people are urged to plan ahead; those not joining in the celebrations are asked to watch out for increased pedestrian activity and keep an eye out on the roads.
"As always, if you're planning on drinking - you need a Plan B to get yourself home,” Det Ch Insp Kehoe said.
Go to: https://www.schoolies.com/party/byron-bay