Beach residents fed up

SAPPHIRE Beach residents fed up with rowdy beach parties say young revellers are turning their suburb into a slum.

One resident, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said it had reached the stage where hiring security guards was a consideration in a bid to send troublemakers on their way.

He said about 100 young people were at a birthday party on the beach and nearby reserve on Saturday night.

He said they were drinking alcohol and urinating in public, and there were also plenty of underage drinkers.

He said they were yelling out, smashing bottles in the sand and on the streets, lighting fires on the beach and throwing eggs at houses.

"The place looked like a bomb had gone off," the man said.

"The whole street was full of cars and their were underage kids there who had organised older people to bring alcohol to them.

"The police attended three times and I don't believe they did anything. Once they arrive, the kids all run into the sand hills.

"Some of our older residents are locking themselves in their houses because they're so scared.

"The whole neighbourhood is up in arms, but none of us want to identify ourselves because we don't want to be targeted.

"Our complaints are falling on deaf ears. At the very least, there need to be public toilets down there to stop people urinating in the sandhills, and signs put up to indicate the drinking of alcohol is not allowed in a public place."

Coffs/Clarence youth liaison officer, Senior Constable Sue Kady, said police took action against underage drinkers at the party and their liquor was tipped out if they couldn't produce identification.

"There were problems with bottles because there were no bins," Const. Kady said.

Instead of moving on the children, many of whom were local, and having them walking around the streets of Sapphire, police tried to keep them in the one area on the beach.

Const. Kady said there were many people aged over 18 at the party, and that designated drivers were being responsible.

"There had been residents on the beach earlier in the night and the kids took over their fire when they left," she said.

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