Social media turning teenage parties into nightmares for parents in Sydney

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 10, 2013 11:00 hrs

Police are being called out in alarming numbers to shut down teenage parties in Sydney because of out-of-control violence and illegal behaviour.

Detective Inspector Kelly Kortlepel, a manager of crime prevention for NSW Police, blames social media. She said it is not the number of teenage parties, but the number of gatecrashers that are on the rise, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kortlepel said the internet, SMS, email lists and online noticeboards have left guest lists unmanageable. She said that in the old days, parents knew who their children were interacting with, but on social media the issue becomes 'friends of friends'. When things go viral, there are hundreds of people aware of the party, she added.

Judi Hausmann, who owns one of Australia's largest PR firms and regularly oversees celebrity-fuelled events for her clients, juggling the media, the socialite set and door lists with aplomb, said even she was left helpless when presented with 300 uninvited teenagers looking to gain access to her son's 15th birthday party in the eastern suburbs.

She registered the party with the police, informed her neighbours, banned alcohol, searched bags and did all the right things. The party started at 8pm, and within the hour, she had shut it down and called police.

Teenagers were jumping the fence and trying to push the front gate over just to get in, she said. The teens had to show photo ID - but they showed up with photo ID with their photo but in other people's names, who they had figured out would be on the list, she added.

North Shore school girl Sarah, 16, invited 100 friends to her 16th birthday party last year and over 300 showed up. Sarah said she was really embarrassed and worried for her parents and said the stress was out of control for her. (ANI)

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