I asked two police officer friends of mine: “how can Schoolies have fun but avoid the police?”
Here’s what they said:
1: “Don’t fail the attitude test” (as my police friend described it). If the police approach you, just be pleasant. They added: “the rude one’s, the one’s who are drunk and obnoxious and carry-on, and think they know their rights, and they get aggressive about it”. If you don’t want police attention, then obey their (reasonable) directions, be polite and co-operative, and don’t give them reason to pay you any more attention than they already are. (If asked for your name and address you should generally provide it.)
2: If you’re given a move-along direction, this is an order by police to move away from the area/scene for at least 6 hours, and failure to move-on will likely result in an arrest, and charge. Police have the authority to disperse people with a direction to move on, so comply, or expect to spend some ‘quality time’ inside a police van.
3: Move on… to carry on.
A move-along direction doesn’t mean the end of your night. Being told to move on doesn’t mean you can’t keep partying. It just means that after you have co-operatively agreed to leave, and complied with the police direction, you and your party friends should go somewhere else, where you’re not disturbing other people.
4: If you come to the attention of police because you are making too much noise, and you don’t turn it down, then it’s likely they’ll be back. And back. And back. And back. And the more times they have to come back, the more likely they’ll get curious about what’s happening inside – where the party and noise is coming from. It’s possible they’ll be back with a search warrant…
5: As far as your safety is concerned, we’re told that many one-punch attacks happen to innocent by-standers. Wrong time/wrong place. In a crowd, someone gets aggro, a fight starts, and next thing there’s a brawl. Do your best to avoid being in the middle of a crowd of people – both for your safety and so you don’t find yourself charged with an assault (which came about because you were defending yourself!).
6: Ladies – drink spiking. Watch your drink. Watch others’ drinks. Watch your backs. That’s all we have to say, because you already know how badly this story can end.
This is NOT legal advice. I repeat – it is not legal advice. But we hope it helps you have a great schoolies.
We’ve got a 24/7 hotline during Schoolies: 0413 310 008
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