Police shut down party with 800 guests

Wollongong police took more than two hours to shut down an end-of-semester party that attracted more than 800 students and flooded Murphys Avenue in Keiraville with revellers on Thursday night.

Acting Inspector Dan Richardson said 16 police vehicles were sent to the address, including some from neighbouring Lake Illawarra Command. 

Multiple move-on orders were issued and witnesses said the police dog squad was also used to quell the party.

Organisers, who had registered the party with police days earlier, told officers they had only expected between 100 and 400 people to show up.

Police were alerted to the event about 10.30pm when members of the public began complaining about the noise.

Insp Richardson said the students were well behaved, and were able to be moved on without major incident. 

However, he said he was ‘‘concerned’’ about the amount of time and resources spent dealing with the event.

‘‘Everyone was reasonably compliant, the only issue was police were tied up for an extended period of time when they could have been off elsewhere attending to more serious incidents,’’ he said.

‘‘That’s our main concern - we weren’t concerned with the behaviour, more with the fact we had numerous resources tied up and if something major happened were tied up.’’

It is understood word of mouth attracted more people than expected to the party.

University of Western Sydney journalism student Matt Bamford was among the revellers. 

He said people left the house when police started arriving.

‘‘I think for the most part the crowd was generally quite well behaved and followed instructions pretty well,’’ he said.

‘‘It was definitely a big party but there was no fighting or arguing or excessive belligerence, there was just a lot of people.’’

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