A Balgowlah Heights party which attracted over 100 reportedly intoxicated teenagers, which was initially believed to be a 16th birthday party but now understood to have been a Valentine’s event, went from festive to fracas on Saturday night with six police cars and two ambulances called in to assist.
Residents reported violent scenes on Lewis Street, with other general antisocial behaviour also a problem. One resident said, “Kids urinated in front gardens and beer bottles were thrown into back gardens.” Another had their car vandalised. In nearby streets a car and public infrastructure was side swiped, but it is not known whether there is a connection.
“Many locals are furious that this incident – which was far beyond a normal rowdy party – seemed to be taking place under adult supervision. Where did these youngsters get all this alcohol from? Senior Detectives are investigating as one young person took a blow to the head from a bottle and several cars were damaged on Ernest Street,” a resident, who asked not to named, told Manly Observer.
We understand the nearby Balgowlah Heights Public School was also vandalised over the weekend, which may be connected.
Most of the drama unfolded after 10pm on Saturday 19 February after reports of over 100 intoxicated youths at a party. As the teenagers spilled onto the street fights erupted, with further incidents on nearby Ernest and Sydney Roads. One teenager was assaulted by three unknown boys.
(Meanwhile, just across the water in Mosman, a major brawl involving 30 adults from a wedding was being managed by police at the same time.)
Police spent Sunday door-knocking the Balgowlah Heights neighbourhood for information about the teen brawl, and have taken video footage for their investigations into what happened.
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed that an incident took place on Lewis Street Balgowlah Heights on Saturday but only referenced that a 16-year-old boy had been assaulted by three unknown males.
“Officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command arrived and found a 16-year-old boy with facial injuries. He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to Royal North Shore Hospital with minor injuries. Inquiries are continuing.”
We followed up with questions over whether any charges have been laid or whether the public is asked to come forward with any additional details. We also requested advice on how similar incidents could be avoided in future.
A NSW Police spokesperson responded that no charges were laid and police continued to appeal for information.
Planning a party at home? NSW Police recommend the following precautions:
- Register your party with local police and obtain a NSW Police Safe Party Pack. This can be done at any police station or online.
- Write a guest list and send out written invitations. Do not invite guests via text message, e-mail or social networking sites.
- If gate crashers arrive, act quickly. Refuse them entry and ask them to leave. If they do not leave, contact the police.
- Think about supervision/security for your party. Consider hiring licensed security personnel.
- Remember it is illegal to buy or drink alcohol if you are under 18. It is also illegal for somebody to supply alcohol to a minor.
- Be responsible with service of alcohol, regardless of your guests’ age.
- Consider how your guests will get home. Organise transport for those who have had too much to drink.
- Don’t allow people to wander around or congregate out the front of your house. Try to confine the party to a backyard, building or enclosed area as it easier for you to control your guests.
- Avoid using front yards or street frontages as this attracts uninvited guests/gate crashers.