Last weekend in sunny Adelaide, an ambulance attended a party to treat a girl who’d sustained a (probably alcohol-related) injury:
As this girl was being treated, she ran onto the road and got hit by a car, whereupon the party guests began abusing the paramedics.
Based on my experiences as a police officer, security provider, parent, guest and neighbour, this is how I believe each person felt on the night:
I’ll let my teenage daughter walk to the party with her friends. I won’t bother ringing to check if the party will have parents there. I trust my child, so I don’t need to ask questions about alcohol.
This sort of thing could never happen to us:
Great! I can walk with my mates. Mum doesn’t know the party has plenty of booze, hardly any parents and no security.
I’m going to get smashed; along with a few friends who’ve heard about this event on Facebook:
What the hell is going on over the road?! Kids everywhere; drunk. No security; hardly any parents about.
My kids will never sleep with this racket going on, and I’m too scared to walk over to see what’s going on:
Oh great; another uncontrolled party. Guess we won’t be able to attend to that sick elderly man; he’ll just have to wait.
These wretched parties are such a burden on our resources. Hopefully it won’t be too wild:
What are we heading into this time? What sort of event is it? How many people are there? I hope there aren’t any garden tools lying around like last time. A pity we’ll have to delay attending to that reported business break in.
These parties are a pain in the butt. Hopefully we get some back up this time. At the last one I attended, I got hit in the head with a bottle for my trouble:
Not another drunk, injured teen! As if we’re not busy enough already. Guess we’ll have to delay seeing that boy who fell off his scooter and broke his leg.
All these preventable dramas happened in one fortnight! And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Parties are turning deadly right across our nation, because parents are neither planning nor controlling them.
We need legislative change.
We need Police to record data on out-of-control events.
Our politicians won’t serious until they have real figures in front of them.
Unless we act, it’ll be another set of horror stories next weekend.
And the next.
And the next.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.