Alright, so the main area of Victor Harbor will be a ‘Declared Public Precinct’ for schoolies this weekend.
Let’s try answer the four questions you have on this – What is a declared public precinct, why are they making it a declared public precinct, what space are we talking about, and is this a good thing?
WHAT IS A DECLARED PUBLIC PRECINCT?
So the previous Labor government amended the Summary Offences Act so that certain public spaces could be called “Declared Public Precincts”.
This means that public areas can, for specified time periods, become areas in which you can potentially face increased police scrutiny, fines, removal and barring.
Declared public precincts give the police increased powers, and with ‘reasonable suspicion’ police can use metal detector searches on anyone within a ‘declared public space’ and they can use other search methods if you fail to comply. You can be removed from the area if police believe that you are behaving in a disorderly manner or are a risk to others (you also face a fine of up to $1250) and if you return to that area within a 24 hour period you could be issued a fine of up to $2500.
Also, anyone under the age of 18 (without a responsible adult present) can be removed and either taken back to their homes or can be considered under the guardianship of the Minister if police believe the young person is at risk.
WHY ARE THEY MAKING IT A DECLARED PUBLIC SPACE?
The State Government has declared Victor Harbor a “public precinct” during Schoolies week in a response to:
Crackdown on “Toolies”
Reduce offences, and
Increase public safety
WHAT SPACE WILL BE A 'DECLARED PUBLIC PRECINCT'?
The area covered by the Victor Harbor declaration will cover the borders of Eyre Street, Flinders Parade, the Esplanade, Franklin Parade, Harbour View Terrace, Bay Road, Victoria Street, Albert Place, Ocean Street, Torrens Street. Further information is available here.
The space will be a ‘Declared Public Precinct’ from the hours of 6pm to 3am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
Basically, it's more than the festival zone - it's a pretty big public area. Here's a map of the Declared Public Precinct:
IS IT A GOOD THING?
If you want to know the full scoop on what YACSA thinks about ‘Declared Public Precincts’, check out our submission here.
Here’s an excerpt:
"The use of public space by young people is the subject of almost perpetual debate. With active citizenship and the use of public space being increasingly linked to consumption and financial participation, young people are being progressively excluded from public and commercial spaces and are subjected to increased surveillance, regulation and stigmatisation. Young people are often perceived and promoted (particularly by the media and some business owners) as pests or as a threat to the enjoyment of public spaces by others."
"YACSA contends that young people, (while using public space) are subjected to an increased amount of suspicion, regulation, restrictions and surveillance. Increased regulation for young people accessing public space is often couched in terms such as “crime prevention” or “decreasing anti-social behaviour” - But low crime and anti-social behaviour rates in juvenile populations aren't easily reconciled with this heavy handed approach."
WHAT TO DO
If you’re going to be at schoolies, just be mindful that police have extra powers this weekend.
Click here to find out tips to celebrate safely at Schoolies 2017.
We’ve set up a space at the bottom of the article where you can tell us what you think about the Declared Public Precinct stuff, or you can tell us your experience with the police at schoolies – good or bad.
Well done on finishing high school!