Police call for party calm

BEACH parties might be fun for some, but not when they lead to widespread damage and attacks on police.

Chief Inspector Shane Cribb from Coffs Harbour police said vital police resources were tied up for several hours at Mulla- warra car park on Friday night, dealing with 'drunken teenagers, many of whom were legally too young to drink'.

He said more than 100 young people gathered in the area and at 8.30pm, police turned up in response to complaints from the community.

They called for backup when people in the crowd started throwing rocks and bottles.

"With the assistance of additional resources, police were eventually able to disperse the crowd," Mr Cribb said.

"Seven people were arrested at the location, with one 18-year-old man being charged with affray.

"Several other teenagers, aged 15 and 16, will be dealt with by way of youth conferencing for other offences."

The dramatic scenes followed a beach party at the Jetty Foreshore the previous week, when partygoers left a trail of destruction in their wake.

Mr Cribb said parents and carers should have a thorough understanding of where and what their children were up to.

"It is evident from speaking with the youths that on a number of occasions, the parents are either not aware of where their children are, or are unaware of the risks young people can be exposed to at these beach parties.

"While police will continue to address community concerns in regard to large-scale beach parties, we seek the assistance of parents to address this type of behaviour."

Mr Cribb said police continued to work with agencies and community groups to promote awareness about beach parties.

He said the newly appointed Coffs/Clarence school liaison officer, Senior Constable Bernadette Snow, had been educating students about their vulnerability at beach parties, and the risks of drug use and alcohol.

PCYC programs offered supervised activities for young people, while funding for the Safe Party Squad would result in an increase in youth workers and volunteers attending weekend parties.

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