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Schoolies kids behaving better, but police warn of crackdown

POLICE have praised the behaviour of schoolies at Byron Bay, arresting less than half the number of revellers they did last year.

Tweed Byron Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Greg Jago said 13 were arrested.

"Generally the young people were well behaved," he said.

There was a number of minor licensing issues that were detected by the police but compared to last year the results are well down.

Insp Jago said 115 street offences were detected during the two week schoolies period, also down on 2011. "Police detected people urinating in the street and using offensive language, who were issued infringement notices."

Officers from the public order and riot squad, mounted police, officers from the police transport command, police drug detection dogs and their handlers plus extra resources from the Tweed Byron LAC were sent to Byron Bay for the traditional schoolies celebrations.

Police issued a public warning to revellers to stick with their mates after an 18-year-old woman was sexually assaulted on Belongil Beach on November 25.

Of the 13 arrested, Insp Jago said five arrests involved a degree of violence which was concerning, especially on the eve of Operation Unite, a national two-day crackdown on alcohol fuelled violence on Friday and Saturday. He warned people to be on their best behaviour this weekend if they were going out drinking alcohol.

Last time Operation Unite was held, in December last year, 209 people were charged with 381 offences in NSW. Insp Jago said police would focus resources on Byron Bay.

Operation Unite targets alcohol related violence, which is a focus for police in the Tweed Byron LAC.



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