ACT Policing took 31 young people into protective custody for the underage consumption of alcohol during and after the Skyfire fireworks event over Lake Burley Griffin last night (Saturday, March 19).
Police deployed considerable resources across a wide area throughout the evening, with forward command posts established both north and south of the lake, Traffic Operations patrolling the roads, and SRS Water Operations craft on the lake.
As well as the 31 young persons, a further four (4) adults were also taken into protective custody for alcohol-related issues. The young persons were held in custody until collected by their parents or guardians.
One matter of significant concern to police was the assault on a 20-year-old man at the rear of Stage 88, in Commonwealth Park, around 9.45pm. The victim had been walking with two male friends when confronted by a large group of males, approximately 10 in number.
Weekly NewsletterEvery Thursday afternoon, we package up the most-read and trending RiotACT stories of the past seven days and deliver straight to your inbox..
An altercation occurred in which the victim was knocked to the ground and repeatedly assaulted, after which the group of perpetrators dispersed from the area. The victim suffered head injuries and fractures, although his wounds were not life-threatening. Investigations into the assault are ongoing and police are appealing for any witnesses to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or to report via the website on www.act.crimestoppers.com.au
The Operational Commander of the event, Superintendent Kylie Flower, said that while she was disappointed at the number of young people taken into protective custody – 6 more than the previous year – the general demeanour of the large crowd was cordial and positive.
“Given that the crowd gathered around the lake was of a significant size, possibly around 80,000 in number, there were few incidents which required police attendance and while a portion of the crowd headed into Civic afterwards, that area, too was relatively well-ordered,” Superintendent Flower said.