Torquay police have changed their tune on the behaviour of schoolies amid growing reports of vandalism including an arson attempt on the town’s former kindergarten.
Last week police described the end-of-school celebrations as “well behaved” and “very quiet” but this week Senior Constable Danny Hutchinson confirmed schoolies were responsible for a spate of damage reports.
Police had also issued “a lot” of on-the-spot fines in the past week.
“People saw the schoolies walking around in groups but unfortunately no one called us,” Sen Const Hutchinson said.
“There was about 30 on the spot fines handed out in the last week.”
Sen Const Hutchinson said the former kindergarten, in Anderson Street, sustained significant damage in the arson attack.
The cost of the damage would not be known for several weeks, he said.
The owner of Torquay’s Beach Front Café said he was left with a $500 damage bill after a flowerpot was thrown through a window late Sunday.
“I was not very happy,” he said
“I came in Monday morning to find (the flowerpot) in the cafe. It is was not a good way to start the week.”
Resident Spencer Leighton was disgusted at the behaviour of schoolies on Sunday night.
He called for more on-the-spot fines to curb public drunkenness.
“The basin of the toilet on the Torquay front beach was ripped out and the place was absolutely smashed to smithereens,” Mr Leighton said.
“Rubbish bins were turned over, trees were broken and street signs were torn down.
“I think it should be easy to police (schoolies) – you know the routes they are taking, so breathalyse them and give them on-the-spot fines. It’s beyond me how we can let drunken yobbos walk around.”
Rick Nardella was angry about the mess he found Tuesday morning on Torquay’s front beach where revellers left around 200 bottles and cans scattered from the night before.
Broken glass on beaches was a concern for Great Ocean Road Coast Committee chief David Clarke.
“A lot of staff time has been spent removing broken glass,” he said.
“It’s a big concern because a lot of children, families and other barefoot people use that area.”
Mr Clarke said the cost of cleaning-up after the schoolies was “considerable”.
“This is part of being on the coast during the summer,” he said.