Leavers 2017 well behaved in Dunsborough

WA police have praised Leavers 2017 as it reached its highest attendance in four years.

Numbers indicate more than 7000 teenagers chose the South West to celebrate.

WA Police Leavers manager Clint Browning described it as a safe and successful event.

He praised the collaboration between agencies and community.

“Leaver 2017 was a very positive experience for all -staff, police and volunteers and most importantly the Leavers,” he said.

“In my four years of being involved, they are the most well-behaved and polite Leavers we’ve had.

“They’ve come and let their hair down but those please and thank yous to the volunteers and everyone involved is really great to see, because they are only there for them and to make sure they have a great time.”

Close to 500 volunteers helped facilitate the Leavers experience, covering roles such as entertainment, accommodation outreach and community health services.

Around 6500 Leavers passed through the alcohol-free entertainment precinct, The Zone, every night.

Mr Browning said it was clear the South West was still a relevant destination for school leavers, despite overseas destinations becoming increasingly popular.

“All these destinations have similar appeal but in terms of safety there is no comparison,” he said.

“Rottnest and the South West have the support in place that give parents peace of mind.

“The extent of support still astounds me, from the licensed premises to the accommodation to the wider community – it is such a collaboration.”

Mr Browning said some Leavers being 18 years old made it more complicated for police, but this was kept under control by early intervention and promotion.

“During the year, all the support groups go in to schools, provide information and make it quite clear that supplying to anyone under 17 is against law,” he said.

“They stress how important it is to realise now they are 18 that if they are caught doing something wrong they will be held accountable in eyes of the law.”

The only negative incidents highlighted from the week include a vehicle, belonging to a school leaver, being vandalised on the final night of Leavers. 

The car was parked on Aldercress Approach and was damaged between 8am and 2pm.

On Wednesday, a Bunbury teenager was flown to Royal Perth Hospital by rescue helicopter after a drunken fall in The Zone.

Mr Browning said the response put in place following an incident was second to none.

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This story Leavers praised by police first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.