Predators Ruin Week
SCHOOLIES week was
being marred by "sexual predators" looking for young
girls affected by alcohol and drugs
police said last night.
Officers are urging school
leavers at Victor Harbor to be
vigilant after two sexual assaults
on the weekend.
Older men at the event
are commonly referred to by
Year 12 students as "toolies"-
are being blamed for a variety of
Schoolie Week problems.
Acting Superintendent Graham Lough, officer in charge of South Coast Police, warned girls
at the festival to stay in groups and keep in regular contact with their parents.
"We have to be realistic that a number of young people and young men in particular would be going
down there to seek out some form of sexual activity," Supt Lough said.
"It has shown again this year- as has happened in the past- that a majority of people
that have been caught in trouble with the police have been non-schoolies- mainly older people".
He said students needed to be vigilant because it was not possible
for police to be everywhere- despite increased numbers of officers in the area.
"We would ask that young girls especially remain in groups- they don't go off in
isolated groups of two's or three's, make sure that their friends know where they are and
also keep in touch with your parents at all times," Supt Lough said.
The Sexual Crimes Investigation Branch and Victor Harbour detectives are investigating
the two assaults- on a 16yr old girl in Warland Reserve at 12:30am on Saturday,
and on a 17yr old girl on the foreshore at 11:30pm on Sunday.
Supt Lough said Police did not have a description of the first offender, however,
the second offender- who led the victim to the beach after talking to her outside
a hotel- was in his 20's, of medium build, 165cm tall, and was wearing a blue hooded
windcheater. The man fled after being disturbed by other people on
a section of beach near the Granite Island causeway.
Supt Lough said it was possible their had been other attacks that police had
not yet been contacted about.
"Parents should be concerned, but not alarmed", he said.
This years Schoolies festival has been marred by the sexual assaults
and the overdose of a 20yr old man on the designer drug red Mitsubishi
on Saturday night.
Victor Harbour mayor Scott Schubert warned predators and those
looking to treat the city as a "playground" to stay away.
"The Schoolies are going to come anyway- we cannot stop them- so we've made a
conscious effort to manage them," Mr Schubert said.
"The majority do conduct themselves in an appopriate way.
We're aware that the problems generally are caused not by Schoolies
as such but by the hangers- on... the predators."
Victor Harbour Hospital's Director of Nursing, Jill Cooper, said yesterday
that there had been seven people treated for alcohol intoxication.
Adelaide Advertiser (23-11-2004)
Christopher Salter/ Jill Pengelley