Dramatic ten year reduction in Schoolies offences

 

YOUNGSTERS generally behaved themselves while celebrating leaving school, according to police.

A total of 856 schoolies enjoyed the sights and sounds of Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday region last week, as well as a raft of activities as part of the seven-day, council-organised schoolies program.

Numbers were down compared to last year and so too were the misdemeanours.

"Overall it was pretty good," said Whitsunday Police Station Senior Sergeant Nathan Blain.

"We only had 12 arrests and infringement notices in total, over seven days.

"Whereas in 2010, there was a total of 60 over just five days, with 23 arrests and 37 infringement notices, and the following year was even worse, with 23 arrests and 66 infringement notices, a total of 89.

"That's a significant reduction in the last few years (even allowing for lower numbers of schoolies) and it's due to a change in attitude in the youngsters, as well as the supervision and having planned diversionary activities, and the safety reassurance from everyone."

Four infringement notices were issued, including three public nuisance offences and one obstructing a police officer, as well as a number of cautions for consuming liquor in a public place and one instance of possessing drugs, and two traffic offences.

Two sets of charges were laid during schoolies week, one for drug driving and also a stealing charge, following an incident where a police officer's torch fell from his belt in the Airlie Main Street, and an 18-year-old man allegedly picked it up off the pavement and took it. Police later found it in his backpack, after reviewing CCTV footage.



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