Big days ahead for local police

Officers now have two major festivals to contend with at Arena Joondalup in the space of a month after the Big Day Out last week made a surprise shift for its February 2 festivities.

Future Music Festival follows on March 2.

More than 50,000 people are expected through the Arena gates across the two shows.

Add to this the possibility of festival juggernaut Soundwave joining the party and local police could soon be contending with almost 100,000 festival goers between February and March each year. Soundwave, with its roots in metal and punk rock, pulled 45,000 revellers to Claremont Showground last year.

Joondalup acting officer-in-charge Glenn Hamilton accepted police would ‘just have to get used to it’.

He said he did not have a preference for or against the influx of festivals.

‘It appears there will be a lot more events at the Arena because Claremont doesn’t seem to be having them anymore,’ he said.

‘Every time we have an event, there’s extra resources we have to put into it. But if that’s the case, then every time we have an event, we will allocate the resources necessary.’

Sen Sgt Hamilton said there had never been any major problems with festivals in the area.

He said the biggest issue was traffic management.

‘It can be a bit disruptive because we have to close the streets, but other than that, they’ve all run reasonably smoothly,’ he said.

Cottesloe Police Sergeant Rory Atkinson said officers, originally planned to attend the Big Day Out at Claremont Showground, would be sent to help Joondalup police.

Sgt Atkinson’s commander Steve Dawson briefed Joondalup officers as soon as rumours of a venue change arose.

‘The operation will in essence be the same no matter where the event is held, as the response is based more on the numbers and the demographic of the attending crowd,’ he said.