For your information we have listed some suggestions for you to consider when having a party or gathering. By following the advice below, you can help minimise the risks and help make your party successful, enjoyable and a safe time for everyone.
Before the party
Let the police know that you are having a party by completing the Party Registration Form online. Access the form through the NSW Police Force website and lodge at least 72 hours prior to the party being held.
Consider how the party will be advertised. Don't use Internet, SMS or email distribution lists, online notice boards or social networking sites. If word of the party has spread, you will need to take extra preventative measures (ie. Change venue, more adult supervisors, hire a security guard, ask neighbours to notify you of any unusual behaviour).
Guest lists should be kept to a manageable size. If you are hosting a young person's party, and you are expecting a large number of people, consider asking other responsible adults to assist with supervision, or consider hiring security officers.
Consider numbering your invitations or have the guests produce their invitation at the door in order to get entry. Accompany this with a door list to ensure only those invited are allowed to enter. This is relevant for adolescent parties.
Ask your guests to ensure that other people are not invited without the host's permission.
Personally hand out invitations and let people know that it is an exclusive party, strictly invitation only. That way you can control who is at the party - the door list will help with this.
Make sure your party has a definite start and finish time, and that your guests know what these times are.
If your party is to be held in a hall or sporting facility, contact your local council or community group regarding the hiring conditions, public liability, restrictions etc. This may end up saving you money in the long run.
Go to the location beforehand and check it out. Know where the entrance(s) and exit(s) to the venue are. It is wise to avoid buildings with multiple entrances if you don't want gatecrashers.
Talk to your neighbours and give them a contact number should an emergency occur.
Find out about local noise regulations (contact your Local Council or Police if in doubt).
Prepare your house
Lock away items that can be broken or damaged like the TV, laptop and electrical items. Also put things away that may be easily stolen such as jewellery, mobile phones, and cameras. If you can pick it up, so can others.
If your guests are under 18 years old, you can't serve them alcohol. It's an offence and the consequence is a hefty fine.
If uninvited people attend the party, ask them to leave, if they don't leave contact police on 131 444. If it is an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Think about the party size and venue. Is your home too small? Would a hall/function centre be a more appropriate and controlled environment?
Consider appropriate lighting (particularly any dark hidden-away areas you may have).
Are there sufficient toilets so people don't go outside?
What about parking and nearby public amenities?
Where will people put their valuables when they arrive and during the party?
Allocate a lockable room for valuables and close off rooms you do not want people to use.
During the party
If gatecrashers arrive, ask them to leave. If they won't leave, call the police on 131 444 or if there is an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Remember, you have the right to refuse entry to your property. It is an offence for people to trespass if you have refused them entry.
Have emergency numbers handy.
Locate band and speaker systems as far away from neighbours as possible, and try to keep noise to a minimum. Excessive noise is most likely to be the reason that police will be called to attend a party.
Plan a wind-down time leading up to the finish, turning down music etc.
Supervision and security
Think about adult supervision/security for your party. Who will you use? How many?
Will you use other parents or hire licensed security officers?
If the party is for a young person, please ensure parental supervision is not about “spying” on the young people attending, but just having adults on hand to deal with potential trouble.
Make sure that the supervision is visible, as this will also deter “gatecrashers”.
Drug and alcohol issues
Be aware that it is an offence for alcohol to be served or provided to people under the age of 18.
Ensure under 18's do not have access to alcohol. Confiscate BYO alcohol from under 18's
If under 18's do consume alcohol/drugs, contact their parents and have them collected from the party
Discourage guests from bringing their own alcohol to the party as this will give you greater control over drink distribution and the amount consumed.
Should you decide to allow guests to bring their own alcohol, avoid providing open containers that can be “spiked” or used to disguise the volume of alcohol being consumed.
Supervise responsible serving of alcohol for over 18's. Consider nominating a parent or responsible adult to supervise the service or serve the alcohol so that the intoxication and behaviour of your guests can be monitored.
For over 18's parties, make sure there is plenty of alternative non-alcoholic drinks and water.
Crowd management techniques
Have only one entrance or exit to make it easier to control who attends your party. Consider how you will monitor and control this.
Don't allow people to wander around or congregate out the front of your house. Try to confine the party to a backyard, building or enclosed area as it is easier to control your guests. Avoid using front yards or street frontages as this attracts uninvited guests/gatecrashers and can cause complaints from neighbours.
Have visible supervision or security.
Take into account that many people smoke. It is best to make accommodation for this within the confines of the party venue. This keeps guests from having to go outside, which ensures better crowd management.
Remember that it is your party and you have the right to set the standard of acceptable behaviour and to see that it is maintained.
You also have the right to ask people to leave.
If required contact the police on 131 444. In an emergency always contact Triple Zero (000).