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Police urge school leavers to party safely as Schoolies 2022 commences

Wednesday, 23 November 2022 03:55:44 AM

NSW Police is encouraging school leavers to take care of one another, party safely and make good choices to ensure the 2022 Schoolies experience is filled with positive memories.

NSW Schoolies 2022 will run from Thursday 24 November to Sunday 4 December, with many school leavers heading towards the northern parts of NSW, including Byron Bay, and southern parts of Queensland, including the Gold Coast.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District will be conducting a high-visibility operation, assisted by specialist police from the Dog and Mounted Unit, Youth Command, Police Transport Command, and Public Order and Riot Squad, in the Byron Bay region.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said everyone had a role to play this Schoolies period.

“Schoolies is a rite of passage for many teenagers coming together to mark the end of 13 years of schooling – some of which were particularly challenging with COVID and flood-induced remote learning – but I encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly,” Mr Toole said.

“As a father of three and a former school teacher, I know how much our students look forward to Schoolies each year, but please be safe, look after each other, keep local beaches and streets clean, plan ahead and as always, there is absolutely no place for illicit drug use, underage drinking or unruly behaviour.

“Our men and women in blue are there to protect you, so please be respectful as they go about their duties.”

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent David Roptell, urged school leavers to behave wisely to make the celebrations memorable for the right reasons.

“Police will be out in force to help keep revellers safe, and I urge any school leaver who is in trouble or unsure about their circumstances to approach and speak to a police officer – that is what they are there for,” Supt Roptell said.

“Schoolies should be about enjoying yourself without regret – it’s not about overindulging, but rather about making good decisions and having fun safely with friends.

“Plan ahead, talk to your friends and family about where you are going, and celebrate safely – the last thing you want is to mark the end of your school life with the loss of a life or serious injury.”

Supt Roptell reminded revellers that illicit drug use, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We also remind people coming into Byron Bay to take heed of Alcohol-Free Zones – our officers will take action against those who flout these rules,” Supt Roptell said.

“Those partying in the Tweed/Byron area should keep vigilant when travelling to and from destinations, follow police instructions, and keep personal possessions safe.

“Locals not celebrating schoolies should also be aware when using the roads to watch out for increased pedestrian traffic.

We want visitors to enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Byron Bay and surrounding areas, safely,” he said.