Plain-clothes police will push their way into the mosh pit at the upcoming Falls Festival in Tasmania’s Marion Bay, in a bid to deter any potential sexual assaults from occurring, as festival organisers move to avoid a repeat of last year’s event that was marred by a string of reported incidents.

Two sexual assaults were reported by patrons in the mosh pit at last year’s event, and one rape was reported in the Falls camping area.

Authorities have asserted that the police officers will be monitoring the pit for any inappropriate activity, stating that while the mosh pit area is a close contact environment, that does not even remotely excuse assault.

Sexual Assault Support Services head Jill Maxwell stated that keeping your hands to yourself was a basic common sense piece of decency that even children can understand.

The message really is for people to keep their hands to themselves — it would be really lovely to have a Falls Festival without any sexual abuse or any sexual harassment.

Infants, five-year-olds are taught to keep their hands to themselves, and it just seems really difficult for some adults to understand that concept and I think it’s really important that we don’t accept that behaviour and report it.

Meanwhile Tasmania Police Senior Sergeant Troy Hodge also asserted that authorities placed into the mosh pit will not tolerate any instances of sexual assault or harassment, and encouraged those who witness shitty behaviour to report it.

The mosh pit, yes it is designed for close contact, people crowding in. What we saw last year was deliberate acts of assaults and that’s the behaviour we don’t want to tolerate.

We’d encourage anyone who sees that sort of behaviour to report it because the potential victims, or people involved at the time, may not be aware, may not know who did. So anyone who sees any behaviour like that is encouraged to come forward at the first opportunity and report it to Tasmania Police.

Police will be there supervising — they might have a slight jig or two — but they’ll be just there supervising the mosh pit. Inappropriate behaviour or behaviour that makes someone feel uncomfortable won’t be tolerated.

Falls co-producer Paul Piticco welcomed the increased police presence, stating that the festival was committed to working with authorities to ensure the event was a safe, inclusive space for all.

We fully support any actions taken by Tasmania Police on-site to prevent this behaviour and have been working closely with them on strategies for our event.

We work closely with the police, ambulance, fire and other emergency service providers and will continue to work with them all to provide the safest possible experience.

The 2017 Marion Bay edition of the Falls Festival is scheduled to being on December 29th.

Source: The Mercury
Image: Getty Images / Cassandra Hannagan