Lennox teen party riot
By ZOE SATHERLEY
UP TO 150 marauding teenagers ran riot and wreaked havoc in Lennox Head on Tuesday night.
Police were pelted with bottles and cans and verbally abused during an out-of-control teenage party.
Five car-loads of police were needed to quell the riotous behaviour, involving children as young as eight.
Some party-goers left the Sunrise Crescent party as police swooped and continued their vandalism and abusive behaviour in the main street.
Shop windows were smashed, bins overturned and rubbish strewn everywhere.
Many of the youngsters were severely intoxicated said police, who are frustrated by the general lack of parental control and absence of planning to have a safe party.
Duty Officer Insp Dave Larkin was one of the police officers called in to deal with the riot.
Police initially received a complaint at about 11pm from neighbours concerned about the large number of intoxicated young people, the loud noise and abusive behaviour.
When a Ballina police crew arrived they were bombarded with bottles, some of which were broken, cans and general rubbish. They were subjected to insults and verbal abuse.
They called for back-
up and police from Lismore, as well as highway patrol officers, attended for more than two hours.
"We had our hands full trying to secure property and break up small groups who were fighting," Insp Larkin said.
"This disturbing incident, which caused a great deal of damage and distress in the com- munity, need not have happened if those organising the party used our free Safe Party kit," Insp Larkin said.
"We would have known about the party, turned up to say hello early, and kept a check on its progress before it got out of hand.
"There are no excuses. Adults need to act responsibly when they know these parties are being held. And parents need to know where their kids are and who they are with."
Police were told that a Lennox High School student had organised the party for a smaller number of people, but the word got out via SMS messages and through the Internet.
Two 17-year-olds were charged for various offences.