Gold Coast Police Alert, Not Alarmed, for Schoolies

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Extra police and specialist services are on standby for this year’s schoolies celebrations on the Gold Coast in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Police revised their plans following the horror in Paris, allocating extra resources and ensuring services such as the elite Special Emergency Response Team are available if needed.

Some 25,000 school leavers are heading to Surfers Paradise for the seven-day party, which starts on Friday night.

Despite the extra measures, police are adamant there is no specific terrorism threat for the event.

“We operate in terms of the intelligence and our assessments are in terms of what we know,” Chief Superintendent Terry Borland said.

“We look at contingencies in terms of what could be the situation.

“We build our capabilities around what we’ve known and what we’ve had to deal with in the past.”

Individual safety and the high-risk behaviour remain the main concern for emergency services.

Several high-rise towers will operate a “zero tolerance” policy towards rooftop or balcony hijinks while Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has reminded schoolies of the danger of swimming in the ocean outside patrolled areas.

“While the majority of schoolies are really well behaved, each year there are always some who take unnecessary risks and put themselves and others in danger by entering the surf at unpatrolled locations, swimming at night, or swimming under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” SLSQ Gold Coast lifesaving services coordinator Nathan Fife said.

“Tragically, we’ve seen plenty of times in the past where high-risk behaviour such as this has resulted in serious injury or drowning.”

Source: The Courier Mail.

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