Schoolies: 'One bad decision may impact rest of your life'
NSW Police are warning teenagers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol during the 2016 Schoolies celebrations and are urging them to make the right choice.
Police from Tweed Byron Local Area Command will be conducting both high-visibility and covert police operations while working closely with the community to ensure everyone is safe, and police are urging school leavers to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
2015 Schoolies celebrations saw police enforce four fail to quits and 17 counts of alcohol in a prohibited area. During this time, 10 assaults and two sexual or indecent assaults were reported, with police conducting 27 drug detections, 38 street offences, 127 move on directions and 59 person searches.
Tweed/Byron Local Area Command's Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said around this time there is an increase in crime, with drugs and alcohol contributing factors: in these circumstances, people can easily become a victim, an offender, succumb to injury or worse.
"Drugs and alcohol will affect your judgement and ability to think clearly, this is not an excuse to commit a crime," Det Insp Cullen said.
"Those who are already 18 years old are legally adults, and need to remember that if they break the law, a conviction could remain on their record forever.
"School leavers are reminded to celebrate in a responsible manner, party safely and to take care of your mates.
"One bad decision or involvement in risky behaviour could lead to a criminal record, and may impact the rest of your life.
"Illicit drug use or underage drinking will not be tolerated but if you see a friend in danger or unwell, seek medical assistance immediately.
"Schoolies should be about enjoying yourself without regret, plan ahead, talk to your friends and family about where you are going, and celebrate safely - the last thing you want is to mark the end of your school life with the loss of a life or serious injury.
"If you are a victim of any type of crime, we want to hear from you. We are here to help and we will thoroughly investigate all reports," Insp Cullen said.
NSW Schoolies 2016 will run from 26 November to 8 December 2016, with many school leavers heading towards the northern parts of NSW, including Byron Bay; and southern parts of Queensland, including the Gold Coast.