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Police response to IPCA report on 'out of control' parties

Police response to IPCA report on 'out of control' gatherings

Thursday, 28 August 2014 - 10:18am

Police accept today's Independent Police Conduct Authority report recommendations regarding the handling of 'out of control' parties and has already improved its policies and practices for managing these complex and sometimes violent situations.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Operations, Sam Hoyle, says the report acknowledges the ongoing work done by Police with the Authority since late 2013 to develop clearer advice for staff when managing such events.

"Following that work, Police has implemented a new policy for managing out of control gatherings, which includes clearer guidelines for staff on the scope of the powers available to them regarding parties on private property.

"Another important aspect of the new policy is the focus it places on prevention, which includes initiatives such as engaging with party organisers beforehand to ensure they run a safe, enjoyable and lawful event, whilst also ensuring the safety of party-goers, the public and our staff.

"Equally, the report highlights that Police regularly face physical and verbal abuse by large numbers of often intoxicated people when attempting to manage out of control gatherings. This reinforces the important responsibility that party organisers, attendees, parents and peers must also share in ensuring the behaviour during these events is safe and appropriate."

Mr Hoyle says Police accepts the Authority's recommendations regarding improved monitoring of social media to engage with party organisers, and continued development of training relating to public order policing.

"The report has also been helpful in clarifying the legal parameters for our staff when entering private property in response to out of control parties, as these situations can be dynamic and complex. Police attendance at these parties is usually in response to calls from concerned property owners, neighbours, party-goers or others who are alarmed about what is happening and who reasonably expect us to take appropriate action.

"Adding to this complexity is that these events are often highly fluid and typically involve large numbers of intoxicated people, some of whom are physically and verbally abusive to our staff, where it is common for bottles to be thrown and fights to break out. This means Police often face a difficult balance in trying to keep party-goers, the public and themselves safe, whilst upholding the law."

Mr Hoyle says Police attend more than 6,500 noise complaints each year, most of which relate to parties. The vast majority are managed professionally and without incident.


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