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Looking ahead: Security and Schoolies

Friday, December 07, 2012

Every year thousands of school leavers flock to our sunny shores to celebrate the end of school and new beginnings. They come in droves; booking out hotels and bearing yellow wrist bands do identify themselves. What follows is a week of partying and fun in the sun. Schoolies sounds great in theory but the reality is quite different. Locals avoid Surfers Paradise and police and security professionals work tirelessly to maintain order and ensure the safety of the schoolies. For many, schoolies is a week of bad decisions and in some cases tragedy.

2012 saw several arrests, underage drinking and the tragic death of a teenager. In the aftermath of schoolies the general public are seeking a solution. Many want to shut down the event and encourage parents to keep their children at home. An unrealistic hope at best. With police already stretched thinly the most obvious solution is to hire private security to maintain order, and most importantly prevent tragedy.

Schoolies started out better than previous years with only 10 arrests in the first two days, mostly due to public nuisance. Many of us breathed a sigh of relief hoping that finally the event had cleaned up its act. Unfortunately the first few days were the only good ones. Over the following week police and paramedics were run off their feet culminating in the arrest of 45 schoolies for various offences on the final night. More security needs to be utilised to assist police ensuring schoolies don’t get out of hand. I am not proposing that security act as police and detain schoolies. The roll of security is to monitor and respond accordingly. By having a security presence the risk of drunken incidents occurring to begin with will be drastically reduced.

The greatest tragedy to occur during schoolies this year was the death of teenager Isabelle Colman. On Thursday night, 17 year old Isabelle fell from the 26th floor of the Chevron Renaissance building in Surfers Paradise. While the reason behind Isabelle’s death is still under investigation the public immediately took up arms in regards to the issue. Many people felt that windows should be locked during schoolies and access to the balcony banned. Surprisingly this argument has gained momentum in spite of its ridiculousness. While Isabelle’s death was a shocking tragedy, taking away the right for schoolies to access their balconies is not the solution. Why not add a security presence to the hotels? Authorised security could monitor complaints and perform checks to make sure activities on the balcony are safe.

The key to fixing schoolies does not lie in banning the event or locking the area down. The effectiveness of security as a deterrent has been proven time and time again. I propose an increase in security personnel at schoolies venues and in hotels. The bad behaviour and frequent tragedies associated with schoolies needs to end. It’s time to take a stand and become pro-active. Let’s make schoolies a fun week by the beach.


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Looking ahead: Security and Schoolies

Friday, December 07, 2012

Every year thousands of school leavers flock to our sunny shores to celebrate the end of school and new beginnings. They come in droves; booking out hotels and bearing yellow wrist bands do identify themselves. What follows is a week of partying and fun in the sun. Schoolies sounds great in theory but the reality is quite different. Locals avoid Surfers Paradise and police and security professionals work tirelessly to maintain order and ensure the safety of the schoolies. For many, schoolies is a week of bad decisions and in some cases tragedy. 

Read More…
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