Falls Festival patrons who reported assaults showed courage: Tasmania Police

Tasmania Police has commended the courage of an underage girl who reported a sexual assault at the Marion Bay Falls Festival.

It was the second sexual assault complaint the police received during the festival.

Police say the female patron claimed she was assaulted in the camping area during the early evening on Saturday.

The young female was provided with support, however, decided she did not want the police to formally investigate the matter.

Speaking from Falls Festival, Detective Constable Damien Mcvilly confirmed the girl was under 18

“We’re pleased people have the courage to come forward, it helps us focus on areas we might not look for,” he said.

Any touching of another person, that was not consensual, could be reported to the police and investigated as assault, the detective said.

“This behaviour is not ok.”

The first complaint was made by a 19-year-old woman, who was allegedly assaulted on Friday night about 9.30pm during a set from band The Jungle Giants.

Detective Constable Mcvilly said the police would go through surveillance footage with the first woman to try to identify any suspects, while going over evidence and speaking to any witnesses who come forward.

The Falls Festival at Marion Bay was beset by reports of sexual harassment and indecent assault in 2016.

Two men were charged over the allegations, but the charges were later dropped.

The message from Tasmania Police to unsavory festival-goers at the 2017 event was simple; “You’re being watched.”

Detective Constable Mcvilly said the police presence had been increased at the festival and the mosh pits were covered by security cameras.

Following the first alleged assault, event organisers and the police urged people in the mosh pits to stay with friends.

Patrons were told to seek assistance from the nearest police officer or event security if they became isolated or felt unsafe, and to consume alcohol in reasonable amounts during the festival, Detective Constable Mcvilly said.

Anyone who may have witnessed either of the incidents can provide information directly to police at the event or via the general police assistance line, 131 444.  

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestopperstas.com.au

  • If you need help, contact the Sexual Assault Support Service 24/7 crisis line on 1800 697 877.