The West Australian
By Ben Harvey and Eloise Dortch, November 11 2002
Watch for drink spike, police
POLICE are bracing for a rash of drink spikings during
school leavers' week, with officers warning at least
one girl is sexually assaulted each year during post-exam
The officers in charge of Rottnest and Dunsborough
police stations have laid down the law for school leavers
and appealed for self-respect and respect for other
They said teenage girls needed to be particularly careful
of male 18 to 25-year-old predators who could spike
drinks to get girls to comply with them.
South-West Supt John Watson suspected many of the 5000
people expected in the region were more likely to be
hangers-on or predators than leavers.
Undercover officers, sniffer dogs, mounted police,
airborne police, roadblocks and random breath tests
were among measures police would use - as much to catch
older offenders hoping to prey on leavers as to stop
leavers acting unlawfully. In the past, two 16-year-olds
had been raped.
"Police have been concerned about drink spiking,"
Supt Watson said. "It has been evident in Bunbury.
The advice is look after your drink like you would your
wallet - if you do that you are going to be safe."
Rottnest Sgt Peter Scott said he expected 3000 leavers
from Friday. "We have been working very closely
with the Rottnest Island Authority and Rottnest community
to make sure it is safe and to make sure the kids have
fun," Sgt Scott said. "If you do damage to
property or the environment or engage in any antisocial
behaviour, then we will come down hard."
About 20 police would be backed by rangers. Violent
outbursts such as those on the Gold Coast would not
be tolerated. As usual, the WA AIDS Council and government
drug arms would staff a "chill-out" tent.
Sgt Gary Lewis, of Dunsborough, said he expected 1200
leavers to hit the small town and another 400 teenagers
were due at Canal Rocks.
The parents of anybody misbehaving would be called
at any hour of the day, he said. Also, parent volunteers
would walk the streets in groups of four.
"We are more worried about the 18 to 25-year-olds
who prey on the young ladies," Sgt Lewis said.
"Nearly every schoolies, at least one girl around
the State gets indecently assaulted."
Police would randomly search vehicles at roadblocks
and confiscate alcohol if the occupants were underage.
Supt Watson said 800 people had booked accommodation
at both Dunsborough and Yallingup. More were expected
at Prevelly and Augusta.
Sgt Lewis said P-plate drivers needed to be particularly
careful, saying that for many it would be their first
long drive. Police would try to weed out troublemakers
by making sure people with accommodation at Rottnest
and Dunsborough wore an identification wristband.