All goes well at Schoolies
IT WAS a relatively subdued schoolie crowd in Byron Bay over the weekend as the end of school celebrations hit full swing.
While numbers were well down on previous year, an estimated 3000 school leavers descended on the town from three states as the NSW, Queensland and Victoria holidays converged.
The Schoolie Hub at Main Beach drew the bulk of the crowd on Saturday with a doof in the park, while others reportedly queued patiently at pubs and clubs around town.
One week into the celebrations, Hub coordinator Nicqui Yazdi said volunteers had so far dispensed about 10,000 cups of water, 1000 condoms, and about 400 "V bags" - for those who had overindulged.
Red Frog volunteers served a further 500 pancakes from the Hub.
Police, paramedics and Hub volunteers praised revellers for their behaviour with only a few minor incidents reported.
Tweed Byron Local Area Commander, Superintendent Stuart Wilkins, said arrests were well down on last year's numbers, which he attributed to the high police presence.
While seven extra officers were brought in from neighbouring commands, a further 15 riot squad officers were deployed from Sydney along with five mounted police and by a sniffer dog squad.
"Obviously there are a lot more people in town now but in general terms it is going really well," Supt Wilkins said.
"The intoxication levels are pretty good in actual fact and it's not just busy in the Hub but all the way through town.
"There are long line-ups at venues around town but the door staff are doing a pretty good job scrutinising patrons making sure they're of age and not too intoxicated."
While there had been fears of heavy-handedness by police, no arrests were recorded on Saturday night and only two on Friday night.
In fact the sniffer dog and the horses proved a hit with party-goers keen to offer them a pat - and in many cases police were obliging.
Tamworth school leavers Jenni Toovey and Kellie Grant said police had generally been friendly and helpful.
Supt Wilkins said the dog squad uncovered 11 drug possessions, but most were minor charges and most were not even schoolies.