New powers to help with control of unruly parties
New powers to help with control of unruly parties

Police will be given new powers to deal with out-of-control parties, including the ability to enter private premises without a search warrant and lay charges against rowdy revellers who refuse verbal move-on orders.

Under the proposed new measures, announced by Premier Colin Barnett at the Liberal State conference yesterday, irresponsible hosts could also face up to one year in jail and be fined $12,000.

Mr Barnett said police would also receive a range of new resources to combat rowdy revellers.

Two prisoner transport buses would be converted into "mobile police stations", which would allow officers to charge, arrest and detain people on the spot, and $1.2 million had been assigned to double the police dog squad to 18 canines by the end of next year.

The announcement came hours after police were pelted with bottles and rocks by gatecrashers outside a Secret Harbour party.

A private security guard working at the party in Alicante Mews called police for help after about 30 gatecrashers smashed a fence and window as they tried to force their way inside about 9.15pm on Saturday. Officers, who were hit with missiles and verbally abused as they tried to disperse the crowd, issued eight move-on notices.

Mr Barnett said the "lock-up on wheels" buses would be ready to go for the peak party season this summer, but refused to be drawn on when the legislation to increase police powers - now being drafted - would be introduced into Parliament.

Criminal Lawyers Association of WA president Philip Urquhart said the circumstances in which police could use the powers would need to be "limited."

"The association would want to have a careful look at the legislation," he said.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said when the laws came into effect, the decision to label a party out of control would likely fall to a senior police officer.

The West Australian

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