From Byron Bay to the Gold Coast, police are preparing for the horde of school leavers to begin their post school celebrations.
Police have urged 17 to 18 year olds to make good choices over the following weeks.
Corporate spokesperson for youth, acting deputy commissioner Jeff Loy said: “Whether you are celebrating close to home, on the beach at Byron Bay or the Gold Coast, or an overseas resort, please remember, this is the start of the rest of your life.
“It is important to think about the consequences of your actions, especially if you’re drinking, because a seemingly insignificant occurrence could impact your plans for the future.”
He also warned that anything which goes on their criminal record stays forever.
Last years celebrations saw 10,000 school leavers visit the Tweed/Byron area. A total of 354 people were arrested, 248 of them being toolies (non schoolies).
Tweed/Byron local area commander, detective superintendent Stuart Wilkins said: “The community of Byron Bay has a reputation of being relaxed and friendly, and we hope schoolies chose to come here to embrace that atmosphere and enjoy the activities on offer.”
He also warned that alcohol impairs judgement and to those of age. “Think before you drink, and know your limits, take responsibility for yourself and look after your friends,” he said.
Deputy commissioner Loy also said while social media can help you keep in contact with others, “Before you leave, double check settings on your social media accounts and ensure you are only sharing with people you trust.”
“Remember, anyone can photograph or film you in a public place and post it online, so make sure you and your friends behave responsibly and legally,” he said.
Det Supt Wilkins said young people should always be aware that police are there to help. “Don’t be scared to approach an officer if you think something is not right. If you need urgent assistance, call Triple Zero .”
For more information about youth issues and safety tips, visit www.youth.nsw.gov.au. – Bianca Mureddu
Top photo from Sunrise on Seven’s Flickr photostream.