August 12: The West Australian government is to spend $1.2 million to double the size of the dog squad and is to introduce special riot buses as mobile jails for wild party guests.
Legislation is also being drafted that could give police the power to enter private properties where unruly parties are being held without obtaining a warrant.
The dog squad is to increase from nine to 18 but will not be available for another 12 months because of the training process.
Police Minister Liza Harvey said once the dogs were part of the policing process, they would make a significant difference. “They scare the living daylights out of people and allow the police to carrel the partygoers into particular areas so they can better manage the activities of those people who are out of control.”
The government has committed two prison transfer buses to be converted to act as an on-site lock-up, allowing police to arrest several offenders at a party without having to leave the area after each arrest.
Ms Harvey said the government was also working on legislation to make hosts responsible if their party became out of control and they did not take reasonable steps to prevent the nuisance from happening.
Under the legislation, a host could be fined up to $12,000 or jailed for one year if he or she were part of promoting unruly behaviour.
Mr Barnett said the legislation was still in the draft stage but he hoped to have it passed before next year’s election.