Each teen event brings new adventures. Last weekend we had many lively youth celebrations. The first was a formal event for 280 16-year-olds, followed by several ‘after parties’ not far from the venue.
Chatting to young guests is one way my security team and I build rapport. We make kids understand that we’re there to keep them out of harm’s way.
In return, they often share small but important pieces of information to help us with our next event. They realise that passing on these titbits may well help us save a fellow teen from serious injury as a result of intoxication.
The information below will help parents manage any teen event that’s alcohol free. I’ve learnt these things the hard way, but that doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, I’d much prefer you to take this free advice here and now!
Problems & solutions
Boys bring hip flasks in their jacket side-pockets.
Ask them to remove their jacket and pull out all the inside pockets. Once you’ve found the hip flask, empty it, label it and store it safely for return after the event.
Even after cloaking all bags (including large clutch bags) girls smuggle in small bottles of booze. They wear big skirts and tape the bottles to their bodies. They also seal spirits in zip-lock plastic bags and hide them in their bras, panties … and beyond. It really is like bringing contraband into prison!
As you can hardly frisk or strip-search female guests, the only way to combat this subterfuge is to check toilet bins for alcohol packaging. Girls commonly frequent toilets in groups to retrieve their stashes.
Kids of both genders scull heavy spirits a few minutes before entering an event. They don’t present as intoxicated until 30 minutes later – well after they’re inside.
This situation is hard to counter. But if you have enough responsible parents helping you control the event by patrolling your perimeter, you can keep this (and indeed all these issues) to a minimum.
In these violent, fast-changing (and increasingly litigious) times, I strongly advise anyone planning a teen event to engage professional security staff to help manage it.
Especially if you don’t have enough mature, sober ‘grown-ups’ on your side.
If you’re foolish enough to go it alone, today’s teens will take you to the cleaners!
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.