Update, 6pm:v Police monitoring of social media sites stopped troublesome New Year’s Eve parties before they started but senior police were still disappointed with the resources diverted to deal with youths causing havoc at suburban parties or roaming the streets.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Fred Gere congratulated the majority of the WA community who had celebrated New Year’s Eve safely, despite big numbers gathering in Northbridge and Burswood.
Police arrested 220 people - 70 more than 2011 – charged 200 by summons (49 fewer than 2011) and laid 459 charges - 13 more than last year.
Mr Gere said there were more people out but frontline officers did not believe there was much more trouble than on a typical Friday or a Saturday night. Police issued 277 move-on notices, down 11 from 2011.
But he said he was disappointed with the minority who resorted to violence.
A 31-year-old Geraldton man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after the alleged one-punch assault death of a 28-year-old after a fight outside a Shark Bay pub and a woman was rushed to hospital with head injuries she sustained when she fell down a flight of stairs in Northbridge after arguing with two men.
Mr Gere said police had prevented two large parties from going ahead after learning of them on social media sites and speaking to the hosts or their parents.
An Attadale party that had attracted 1500 hits on Facebook was cancelled after police visited the home of the young host early on New Year’s Eve and alerted his father.
“Lo and behold the father no idea what his son was organising so no doubt there was some stern words between father and son and all of a sudden the party was cancelled,” Mr Gere said.
Another party planned for Fremantle was cancelled when police and the local council warned the host about his potential liability.
But police resources were still kept busy monitoring revellers throughout the suburbs and dozens of police were called to a teenage party in Butler last night.
Police declared the party an out-of-control gathering after arriving to find teenagers on the roof of the Medsted Way home – at least one allegedly throwing tiles from the roof into a neighbouring yard.
About 70 youths were dispersed by officers on horseback and with dogs, with at least two teenagers arrested for refusing police orders to move on.
The teenage host was taken to a police station and his parents, who had been away in Lancelin, were contacted.
“The young gentleman who facilitated this on Facebook no doubt is going to be severely embarrassed when his parents arrive home today, because not only has the house been damaged with tiles ripped off the roof and thrown into neighbouring premises but also no doubt they will have some very irate neighbours,” he said.
It is not known if the host has been charged and inquiries are continuing.
“Most of the parents on these occasions were not aware of what their children were doing; early intervention resulted in good outcomes,” he said.
Mr Gere said he was disappointed with parents who allowed their children to “simply roam the streets” in the early hours of this morning, creating disturbances and removing police resources from the frontline.
He said police took 53 juveniles into care or arrested them after they were loitering in Burswood streets after travelling there by train from suburbs including Ellenbrook, Morley, Moora, Balga and Girrawheen.
“No doubt we had to take police resources off the frontline to deal with them,” he said.