Last night my team and I were scheduled to look after a party in a wealthy suburb.
The event had been extremely well planned and my client had wisely followed all my prior advice.
Then, around midday, I heard a disturbing rumour.
It seemed a 17-year-old local boy had planned a party in the rental property he shared with his mother.
On investigation, I found he’d promoted the party on Facebook – receiving more than 200 acceptances.
No security. No alcohol restriction. And a mother oblivious to what was about to happen.
Worse, this boy’s party was just down the road from my client’s event – which was due to start in eight hours!
Suddenly, my client’s well-planned party was threatened by an external problem that was beyond my control.
I knew that if I didn’t increase my crew to six and retain them for longer at my client’s venue, gatecrashers from the Facebook party could threaten it if dispersed by police or other factors.
My poor client had the twin hassles of increased costs plus a sense of unease about the actions of their careless, selfish neighbour.
Not surprisingly, police had to shut the Facebook party down. This sent kids spilling out of the house.
Sure enough, a wave of disgruntled teens soon crashed against our defences.
I heard that the rental house had been trashed, as the boy and his mother were moving out!
Fortunately, due to our increased security measures (and my client’s trust in my assessment and recommendation) we stopped and dispersed this surly mob.
Who they went on to hassle next is anyone’s guess. Though I do know police had to waste time patrolling a human mess that should never have happened.
Once again, the party permit system I’ve long been advocating would deter or punish thoughtless neighbours (and save emergency services the time and expense of cleaning up after them).
Last night’s debacle also has me wondering if landlords think about social-media-fuelled parties when renting their properties.
Perhaps they may like to read my proposal and add some of my recommendations to their next lease.
Councils also need to take note. We must get tough and prevent this careless behaviour – especially with summer coming.
With mobs of kids roaming from pillar to post – often stopping traffic – someone’s going to get hurt or killed.
Civil litigation will raise its head and guest parents will sue party parents for not looking after their children.
The good news about last night was that, safe inside my client’s venue, the kids had a ball and the event was a big success.
Phew! Time to get ready for next weekend!
Naomi Oakley, Managing Director, U-NOME Security Communication Specialists.