Celebrate safely or not at all

Police will be on the lookout for unruly behaviour as school leavers descend on popular Victorian coastal destinations from this weekend.

Schoolies or School Leavers Week officially occurs in Victoria from Saturday 23 November until 8 December.

Priority Communities Division Acting Commander Murray Fraser said police were prepared for the influx of school leavers heading to the Surf Coast, Mornington Peninsula and Bass Coast regions.

“Like every year, our focus will be on ensuring a safe environment for everyone, including school leavers, local residents and the broader community,” A/Cmdr Fraser said.

“While the majority of schoolies do the right thing, we are continuing to see a small number of school leavers involved in dangerous behaviour.

“We will be boosting patrols along foreshores, in and around licensed venues and accommodation sites to target alcohol-fuelled violence, drug offences and anti-social behaviour. We will not tolerate any behaviour that negatively impacts the community.

“We know that finishing school is an important milestone for many young people and the end of year is a popular time for celebrations, but we urge them to do it safely and respectfully.

“Celebrating doesn’t mean you have to throw your responsibility and respect for others out the window.

“While the tradition of having a bit of fun after a long year of hard work encourages a range of celebrations, be considerate and respectful for the communities you’re celebrating in and think about the consequences of your actions.

“Last year, police arrested nine people after responding to brawls and drunken behaviour in Rye during School Leavers Week.

“While we hope this poor behaviour will not be repeated, we will be ready to arrest people if they break the law.

“We also continue to see people seriously injured as a result of flares being lit. We will be targeting this behaviour again this year, and anyone involved in throwing flares will be held to account.

“Take the time to think about how you want your end of year of celebrations to be remembered.”

For further information about staying safe during school leavers week, including advice for school leavers and parents, visit https://goodtimesgreatbreaks.wordpress.com/

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