Schoolies will have nowhere to hide or conduct clandestine gatherings on the Gold Coast with police set to spy on their every movement.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler put all school leavers on notice on Friday by announcing cops will not only be out in force but will be monitoring more than 700 fixed cameras on the Gold Coast.

A street safety camera in Surfers Paradise. Police will monitor more than 700 during Schoolies to clamp down on larrikin behaviour. Picture: Supplied / QPS
A street safety camera in Surfers Paradise. Police will monitor more than 700 during Schoolies to clamp down on larrikin behaviour. Picture: Supplied / QPS

Superintendent Wheeler said police would be targeting drug activity and Gold Coast hotel larrikinism, with their main focus in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

"Officers are going to be patrolling and monitoring the Surfers Paradise CBD, in particular, not only through patrols but also through the extensive safety camera network across the Gold Coast," he told reporters.

"There's some 700-plus cameras in that network, which is really effective to help us police, not only in real time, but also to gather evidence of any incidents that occur."

More than 200 extra officers are being ferried into the Gold Coast to assist in patrolling the streets for the unofficial Schoolies week. The Queensland government cancelled this year's celebrations in August due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The influx of officers will allow border patrols, hotel quarantine supervision and COVID-19 investigations to run unhindered.

Queensland's Year 12 students officially finish on Friday, and even though there will be no organised celebrations or activities, thousands of schoolies are still expected to descend on the Gold Coast.

"We'll be targeting anti-social behavior. We'll be using intervention and prevention techniques," Superintendent Wheeler said.

"We will be targeting drug activity in those areas, and we'll be continually monitoring hotels accommodation around activities around balconies.

"We'll be making sure that if issues arise, we will jump on them really quickly, and that's with the additional staff that we have to help us do that."

Police will be keeping an eye on balcony shenanigans in Surfers Paradise during Schoolies week. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Police will be keeping an eye on balcony shenanigans in Surfers Paradise during Schoolies week. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Mental health and support services will be set up on the Gold Coast and at Byron Bay where thousands of students are expected to swarm on the northern NSW coastal town.

Social distancing and compliance around coronavirus restrictions in the Tweed/Byron Bay district are a concern for local district Superintendent Dave Roptell.

He has warned celebrations must be conducted in a COVID-safe environment, and officers will enforce all public health orders and conduct business compliance checks.

"These are not normal times, so we ask anyone coming to the far north coast to be respectful - we have come this far in managing COVID-19 in our regional communities, let's not undo all our hard work now," Superintendent Roptell said.

Tweed/Byron Superintendent Dave Roptell says police will be strictly enforcing all COVID-19 restrictions during Schoolies at Byron Bay. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Tweed/Byron Superintendent Dave Roptell says police will be strictly enforcing all COVID-19 restrictions during Schoolies at Byron Bay. Photo: Jessica Lamb

Any student outside of Greater Sydney can visit the Gold Coast, while remaining NSW students can only venture as far as Tweed Heads on the north coast.

Superintendent Roptell was expecting Victorian students to flock to Byron Bay when NSW opens its borders to their southern neighbour next week, which will add another layer of complexity for cops.

"With the border between NSW and Victoria to reopen early next week, we are expecting thousands of school leavers to come to our area," he said.

"The risk of community transmission is still present here in Australia, and with people from interstate expected to come to Byron, school leavers need to be extremely aware of the dangers of COVID-19.

"The NSW Police Force continues to work closely with health officials and other government agencies, businesses and the community to manage the COVID-19 crisis and minimise the spread of the virus."

Originally published as Cops' secret weapon to spy on schoolies

Gold Coast Superintendent Mark Wheeler says drug activity will be heavily targeted during the unofficial Schoolies week. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Gold Coast Superintendent Mark Wheeler says drug activity will be heavily targeted during the unofficial Schoolies week. Picture: Tertius Pickard


DNA left on black cap proves crucial in Byron break in

Premium Content DNA left on black cap proves crucial in Byron break in

A 25-year-old former Byron Bay man broke into a home on Coolamon Scenic Dr with...

Accused hurls obscenities in videolink court appearance

Premium Content Accused hurls obscenities in videolink court appearance

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges committed while on parole on the...

Group flee after stabbing man, hitting teen with metal pole

Premium Content Group flee after stabbing man, hitting teen with metal pole

POLICE is investigating the fight that broke between a group of teens and the...