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Well Behaved "Schoolies" In Bass Coast

Officers reported that young people in the Shire for "Schoolies" were generally well behaved over the weekend.

By Carol McCormack - 25th November 2002 - Back to News

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Bass Coast Shire Council’s local laws and youth services officers as well as Victoria Police officers reported that young people in the Shire for "Schoolies" were generally well behaved over the weekend.

The officers spoke to approximately 80 young people throughout the weekend while conducting foot patrols.

"We have received a very positive response from the young people we spoke to over the weekend," said Kaye Hall, Local Laws Team Leader at Bass Coast Shire Council. "Most understood that we are there to protect their safety and the safety of the general community."

Kaye said that, as expected, underage drinking was a big issue of concern. Officers called the parents of two teenagers who were found under the influence and underage.

"The parents had to travel a long way to come and pick up their kids, but were very please that we had contacted them," said Kaye. "This will be standard practice throughout Schoolies if we find teenagers drinking underage."

Cr John Gains, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire Council, agreed that the responsibility for underage drinking lies with the parents of these teenagers.

"Local laws officers, youth services officers and Victoria Police can do everything within their means to educate young people about the law but ultimately it is up to parents to take responsibility for their children," said Cr Gains.

Local Law officers, youth service volunteers and Victoria Police will continue patrolling the central business districts and other areas where people are congregating.

Kaye said that the idea of the patrols is to talk to young people and let them know what activities are happening in the area.

"We also want to educate them about issues such as underage drinking and drinking in public places, and offer alternatives," she said.

To cater to the increased number of young people expected during "Schoolies", the Youth Access Centre in Cowes is open for extended hours. Bass Coast Youth Services staff and volunteers will staff the Centre.

Cr Gains and Kaye agreed that the main aim of all activities by Council officers and Victoria Police is to ensure the Shire is safe for everyone.

"These types of activities will also reinforce the message we wish to get to revelers over the Christmas and New Year period," said Cr Gains. "We want people to celebrate, but to celebrate safely and responsibly."


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