Older revellers thinking about joining the thousands of school leavers for ‘Schoolies’ celebrations over the coming week have been warned against ‘prowling’ on younger party-goers.
In preparation for this weekend, when more than 22,000 school graduates will flock to Queensland’s Gold Coast to let their hair down, police have said they will also be keeping a close eye on ‘Toolies’.
‘If you want to come to Surfers Paradise and play up, be assured you will be arrested,’ South Eastern region Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
‘It’s not the place to come and prowl upon schoolies.
Older revellers thinking about joining the thousands of this year’s school leavers (pictured) for ‘Schoolies’ celebrations have been warned against ‘prowling’ on younger party-goers
Police and emergency crews are bracing for this weekend in preparation for the inevitable carnage inflicted on the seaside resort town every year
More than 22,000 school graduates will flock to Queensland’s the Gold Coast this weekend to let their hair down. Pictured: A group of school leavers arriving in Surfers Paradise this week
‘We will have a very strong police presence policing all the schoolies but also all the toolies.’
Despite an estimated 80 per cent of attendees being underage, some party-goers who have already left school – in some cases many years ago – join the thousands of teenagers for the annual end of exams celebration.
Last year, nearly 50 arrests were made in Surfers Paradise during the event, with dozens of teenagers busted for drug possession and brawling.
However, most of these arrests were ‘toolies’ rather than students, Gold Coast Schoolies Advisory Group chairman Mark Reaburn said.
Mr Reaburn has urged partying students to look after their mates and stay safe during the notoriously unruly celebrations. Pictured: A reveller is helped by a friend at last year’s event
Thousands of eager Schoolies flock to the popular Queensland beach strip ready to party their nights away (pictured in 2017)
Most arrests made were for ‘toolies’ rather than students, Gold Coast Schoolies Advisory Group chairman Mark Reaburn said. Pictured: Police speak with a man with a bag of cask wine last year
‘If you want to come to Surfers Paradise and play up, be assured you will be arrested,’ South Eastern region Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins said
Mr Reaburn has urged partying students to look after their mates and stay safe, saying his team of 11,000 volunteers are ready to make sure the kids have a great time safely but they’re not running a festival.
‘We run a response to a lot of kids being away from mum and dad for the first time in their lives, with each other, essentially moving out into the big wide world,’ he said.
Students regularly go beyond what they can cope with both emotionally and physically, he said.
‘That’s why our mantra for the kids is: be safe and watch your mates,’ he said.
The Schoolies community safety response, which includes the Schoolies Hub and an ambulance treatment centre, provides school leavers with alcohol and drug-free diversionary activities, safety advice, and support while they party the week away.
Last year, nearly 50 arrests were made in Surfers Paradise during the event, with dozens of teenagers busted for drug possession and brawling
Despite the inevitable carnage inflicted on the seaside resort town every year, authorities said there was not a lot they could do to stop the kids coming. Revellers are pictured during celebrations last year
Closely-watched and cordoned-off party zones with high fences and soft beach sand have been carefully thought out by the organising committee.
Mr Reaburn said although he wanted schoolies to have a good time, any one who act the ‘idiot’ can almost guarantee to be dealt with by the police.
‘Every schoolie that comes here is not an angel, but they’re coming here because they’ve had a discussion with mum and dad and they said ”yes you go can go”,’ he said.
‘Our concern is always what goes on in the rooms but we can’t be there… be safe and watch your mates.’
In 2017, 66 schoolies were arrested by police, however, historically more ‘toolies and droolies’ are arrested than students, Mr Reaburn said.
Mr Reaburn said calls to block students at the airport or ban schoolies were pointless.
‘We can’t hold back to the tide,’ he said.
These girls are part of thousands of interstate Schoolies ready to party to celebrate the end of exams