BEACH parties are becoming a major headache for Coffs Coast police and parents, not to mention intoxicated underage youths.
The late-night partying is also having a big impact on local residents living near popular beaches where the ‘boozed-up’ weekend bonfires are happening.
Police said the latest concern was a beach party at Sapphire Beach, off Headland Road, on Saturday night.
“Police fielded numerous calls from residents in that area complaining about a large gathering of intoxicated youths aged between 14 and 18 years around 10pm,” said Coffs/Clarence Crime Prevention Officer, Senior Constable Dave Fish.
Residents were alerted to the beach party by the sound of bottles being smashed and it’s believed a crowd of up to 50 youths had gathered.
“Officers attended and a large number of youths ran from the scene, while a large amount of alcohol was also found. Numerous matters are now being followed up by police in relation to underage drinking and street offences committed on the night.”
“Police informed a number of parents that their children were found on the beach and it appears they had been told their children would be staying at friends’ houses that night.
“Because of this we’d urge parents to be more mindful of their children’s whereabouts and make inquiries with other parents if their teenagers are going to sleepovers or staying with friends.”
After being inundated by calls from beachside residents in recent years Coffs/Clarence police have conducted Operation Illusions, which targets beach parties with a zero tolerance approach. It comes after recent alcohol-fuelled parties on beaches and public reserves have erupted into brawls, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.
Anyone caught lighting a bonfire on a NSW beach can be fined up to $1500. People caught supplying underage youths with alcohol face prosecution and substantial court-imposed penalties.