Keeping teenage parties safe

May 26, 2015

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Parents hosting parties for their teenage children often fear alcohol-fueled gatecrashers turning up unannounced to cause trouble and potentially destroy their property.  With social media, SMS, and email allowing the fast spread of information to potential party crashers, they are increasingly turning to security guards to provide peace of mind when hosting.

Gatecrashers, also known as ‘hatecrashers’ (gangs who target and terrorise teen parties) are a real threat, but it does not have to be teenagers en-masse to ruin your evening, Small groups of uninvited guests can cause as much of a headache to party hosts as larger ones.

The majority of highschool party gatecrashers are known to the host and are usually classmates who were not invited. If the host knows the gatecrasher they are unlikely to confront them or contact police for assistance. Security issues at household parties are often caused by one or a small group of people engaging in antisocial behaviour.

A visible security presence at your event will be beneficial to discourage unwanted guests – no matter how big or small the group – entering the property. A security company can quickly and easily call for backup if a situation becomes uncontrollable and will have an excellent relationship with local police.

Here are some more tips on keeping your party safe…

Stay Party Safe

  • Have written invitations to your party with a start and finish time.
  • Allocate wristbands to guests.
  • Keep the party off Facebook and other social networking sites.
  • Inform neighbours of your party and give them your contact details.
  • Register your party with Party Safe on the Queensland Police Website.
  • Inform as many parents of the guests about the party as possible.
  • Make sure you have access to a phone on the night.
  • Have a first aid kit.
  • Have visible security.
  • Have adequate lighting.
  • Section off areas that are out of bounds.
  • Serve plenty of food and non alcoholic beverages.
  • Give your teenage clear instructions as to what is expected of them and their friends behaviour.
  • Stick firmly to your finish time.
  • Make sure guests have a way of getting home.
  • Remove or hide your own alcohol from the property to discourage temptation.
  • Set an example by not drinking on the night.

Know the Law

It is an offence for anyone to supply alcohol to a person under 18 in a public place. It is also an offence for a person under 18 to possess or consume alcohol in a public place.

It is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under 18 on private property unless you are the responsible adult for the minor (a parent, stepparent, guardian or adult who has parental rights and responsibilities) and are responsibly supervising the minor. If police are called to a party and see the irresponsible supply of alcohol to a minor, they may seize all alcohol, and if you supplied the alcohol you could face charges in court and a significant fine.

Any person who organises (i.e. is substantially involved in arranging, hosting, managing, advertising or promoting the party) a party that becomes out-of-control commits an offence; unless they have taken reasonable steps to prevent the party from becoming out- of-control. If charged and convicted, they could face a significant fine or prison sentence, and could be ordered to contribute to the costs incurred by police in responding to the out- of-control party. If the person organising the party is a child, and their parent (or guardian) gave them permission to organise the party, the parent could instead be guilty of the offence.

If your party becomes out-of-control, or a police officer believes your party is likely to become out-of-control, they have the power to enter the venue (without a warrant), give directions and take any steps they consider reasonably necessary to stop the party, disperse party guests or protect public order and safety. You must comply with all reasonable directions given to you by a police officer. If you fail to do so you are committing an offence and, if charged and convicted, could face a significant fine or prison sentence.