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June 23, 2024

Schoolies ‘Operation Kimberley’ commences

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The slogan for Schoolies celebrations. (supplied)

Senior police have been reminding school leavers to party safely and know their limits during as this year’s NSW schoolies celebrations kicked in over the weekend.

Police say they are pleased with the behaviour of young people over the first two nights of schoolies in Byron Bay with only some minor incidents of anti-social behaviour and drinking alcohol in prohibited areas being detected.

Schoolies Hub – a helping hand

The ‘Byron Schoolies Hub’ has again been set up at Apex Park and this will be run by local resident Nicqui Yazdi from the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team with band of more than 70 local volunteers.

The HUB is a safe zone where schoolies can drop in, access free water, sunblock and information or talk to a caring person and has a well managed First Aid station to help with minor ailments. 

‘Nicqui does an amazing job coordinating the HUB with her team of volunteers,’ Mayor Richardson said.

The Red Frogs volunteers will also be in around Byron and working from the HUB, offering support and wisdom to schoolies who may be tired, emotional, or simply struggling with the pressure of prolonged partying. The Red Frogs do free pancakes and chai from the HUB in the park in the evenings, as well as having their DJ’s provide a free dance party each night. 

Schoolies HUB Coordinator Nicqui said, ‘We are looking forward to seeing all of this year’s school leavers arriving and coming and finding out about the services we can provide for them from the HUB. It is their go to for everything while they are here and this year’s volunteers have had a lot of free training in alcohol and other drugs and fist aid, and are ready to assist with anything we can.’

Police presence

There will be an increased police presence to cope with the extra visitors in town and the public order and riot squad will also be here for the busy middle weekend.

Tweed/Byron police district duty officer, detective inspector Matt Kehoe said police will be out in force targeting drug and alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

‘Police aren’t here to ruin your fun, but rather make it a safe environment for your celebrations,’ Det Insp Kehoe said.

‘Drugs and alcohol impairs your judgement and may lead to a conviction or choice that affects the rest of your life. Know your limits and look out for your mates so you can ensure this is a memorable event for the right reasons.

‘Officers will be around and are there for your safety; approach police or authorities if you are in danger or a victim of any type of crime.

The Operation continues to December 3.

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