Police bolster south west presence for Leavers

Police will be supervising Leavers 2019.
Police will be supervising Leavers 2019.

THOUSANDS of WA leavers are being urged to stay in WA’s south west with a guaranteed police presence in place for young people celebrating the end of secondary school.

Police are expecting up to 9000 high school graduates to head down south to parties in Dunsborough and Busselton from November 18 to 21.

Designated Leavers Entertainment Zones, as well as transport, activities and support services, will be set up to offer safe party environments for young people.

And other agencies, including the Department of Health and St John Ambulance, will be in place along with hundreds of volunteers.

Additional police will also be in the area before, during and after events.

Commander Lawrence Panaia speaking to reporters about Leavers 2019.

Commander Lawrence Panaia said the number of leavers spending their end of year celebrations on Rottnest Island had dropped, with only 87 attending last year compared to 1000 people five years ago.

He said leavers could still go to Rottnest but there won’t an official event, with police supervising the Dunsborough and Busselton Leavers in what would be the biggest group in 15 years.

“We saw (the number) grow last year to about eight thousand … this will be the largest one we’ve had,” he said.

“There will be no Leavers in Rottnest this year, so we’re expecting most of them to be down in the South West.

“The [alcohol free] zone is open again for four nights, the beach party is on again, you’ll see a lot of outreach services.”

Commander Panaia said leavers should use the support services on hand and not be afraid to seek necessary help if they found themselves in trouble.

“The number one focus is to make sure the leavers remain safe during their period,” he said.

Red Frogs WA coordinator Hayden Glass.

Red Frogs WA coordinator Hayden Glass said there would be more than 100 trained volunteers available to assist leavers in WA or internationally.

“We do have a team of Red Frogs representatives in Bali,” he said.

“But the safest place for leavers of 2019 in WA to celebrate is in the South West with the State strategy in place to ensure it is a safe week for everyone involved.”

Call the Red Frogs WA hotline on 1300 577 123.

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