Police issue warning following destructive parties at short-stay rental accommodation

Friday, 31 December 2021 04:51:35 AM

The NSW Police Force are urging owners of short-term rental accommodation to do their due diligence when accepting bookings following a series of public order incidents during parties across Sydney.

While many online short-term rental or homestay booking websites have banned the use of properties for parties, police across the state have been called to numerous large, loud, or out-of-control events hosted at these types of rentals in recent months.

With the festive and end-of-year party season in full swing, police are reminding property owners to take extra measures to ensure their rental isn’t misused.

NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Alcohol-related Crime, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell, appealed to owners and managers of these types of properties to assist in preventing unauthorised parties.

“Police are concerned about the increasing number of public disorder incidents, where homes are being seriously damaged, and the safety of attendees and the broader community is being threatened,” Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said.

“Anyone who would be disrespectful enough to trash another person’s property would obviously not care about a corporation-imposed party ban, so the onus for protecting the property lies mostly with the owner.

“If you are renting out your property, we encourage you to build strong relationships with neighbours who can keep you notified of concerning activity.

“We also suggest you make sure your house rules are clear and guests know what is off-limits and consider extra insurance for any unforeseen circumstances.”

Recent serious incidents include:

  • About 1am on Saturday 20 November 2021, officers from Riverstone Police Area Command responded to reports of a brawl on Alonso Crescent, Schofields. On arrival, police located more than 20 people outside a nearby home and another group inside – with both groups refusing to speak with officers or allow entry to the property. The Public Order and Riot Squad attended a short time later and all persons were dispersed from the area. Every room in the four-bedroom property sustained cosmetic damage as well as multiple holes in the walls, broken windows and furniture, damage to kitchen appliances and a broken fence. Further, numerous items were reportedly stolen from the home.

  • Officers from Auburn and Burwood Police Area Commands responded to reports of a brawl at a house party on The Crescent, Wentworth Point, about 4.20am on Sunday 14 November 2021. On arrival, police were told more than 25 people were at the party when about 16 gate crashers, who were armed with knives, a hammer and sticks, attended before the melee broke out. An 18-year-old girl was reportedly hit in the head with a bottle and cut her feet on broken glass. It is also believed personal items were stolen during the incident. The two-bedroom apartment sustained significant cosmetic damage and further damage was sustained in common areas of the building.

  • Just before 2am on Sunday 7 November 2021, officers from Sydney City Police Area Command were called to a unit on Harris Street, Ultimo, following reports of an assault. When police arrived on scene, the occupants allegedly threw bottles from the balcony towards officers on the street. Additional police resources attended, and the party was shut down. A 30-year-old man was located in the apartment with lacerations to his head and face and was treated at hospital before being released later that day. With the assistance of the Public Order and Riot Squad, and other specialist resources, about 100 people were removed from the three-bedroom apartment and dispersed from the area. A 19-year-old man was arrested a short time later and charged. He remains before the courts. Numerous walls and doors within the apartment sustained significant damage and various pieces of furniture and household items were destroyed.

  • Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command responded to reports of a large party at a property on Gloucester Street, The Rocks, about 1am on Sunday 31 October 2021. Police arrived to find more than 130 people inside the three-bedroom property and shut the party down. After attendees became aggressive and threw projectiles at police, additional resources were requested. As officers were dispersing the crowd, a fight ensued between partygoers, during which a 25-year-old man was stabbed in the back. He was treated at hospital and has since been released. There were reports of significant damage inside the property, including smashed windows, carpet damage and bloodied walls.

  • About 12.45am on Saturday 30 October 2021, officers from St George Police Area Command were called to reports of a large party appearing to get out of hand at a home on Somerville Street, Arncliffe. Police were met with a hostile crowd, which included a 20-year-old man spitting at police. More than 150 people were dispersed from the three-bedroom home with the assistance of the Central Metropolitan Region Operations Support Group and the Dog Unit. The inside of the property sustained damage and was left in disarray.

Assistant Commissioner Thurtell added that where criminal offences are detected, police will not hesitate to take action.

“Violent behaviour will not be tolerated, and we remind people to act sensibly and respectfully. If you are breaking the law, you will be arrested,” Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said.

“If you are concerned about a gathering in your neighbourhood or building, please contact your local police. Of course, in an emergency, call Triple Zero.

“Finally, if you are hosting a party at your own property or a public venue, register the details with local police and make sure you have sufficient security measures in place to ensure your event is not targeted by gate crashers.”

Information about planning a safe party, including registering the event with local police, is available on the NSW Police Force website: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/party_safety/safe_party_tips.

Police are conducting proactive operations as the Summer Safe campaign continues across NSW. Summer Safe is a statewide high-visibility strategy which will focus policing resources on crime prevention, alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour and road safety.

More information about community safety, including crime prevention tips, is available on the NSW Police Force website: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/safety_and_prevention.

Anyone with information about the planning of unauthorised parties/events is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.