Coastal village idiots warned


TROUBLEMAKERS are being warned to stay away from Minnie Water, Brooms Head and other coastal villages around the Clarence Valley this New Year's eve.

Those who do risk it have been given a stark warning ? behave, or spend a night in the cells.

Police, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Clarence Valley Council have devised a plan for the night, including road closures and high visibility policing to avoid the kind of trouble seen at previous New Year celebrations.

Coffs/Clarence area command crime co-ordinator, Detective Senior Sergeant Andrew Martin, said there would be a large number of police around Minnie Water and in the lower river who would be targeting anti-social behaviour.

"We're not there to put a dampener on anyone's celebrations, we're there to stamp out anti-social behaviour and make sure everyone can have a good time," he said.

"Anyone who is involved in any (anti-social) behaviour will be taken out of play.

"We'll have a number of mobile and beat police out there in their cars and on foot and we'll be around the whole area with RBTs ... so the message there is not to drink and drive."

Det Martin said licenced premises would also be patrolled by uniformed and plain clothes police.

He also warned underage drinkers to stay away.

"We've told all the licenced premises about this and if responsible service of alcohol rules aren't followed they can be fined. So if you're asked to leave a pub by the staff or security, do so. Don't stand around and argue because you will end up getting arrested."

Road closures will be put in place by the council and NPWS from 9am on Saturday, December 31, restricting vehicle and pedes- trian access to:

nIllaroo campground in the National Park at Minnie Water

Wooli Road

Woody Head camp- ing ground at Iluka

Brooms Head Road into Redcliffe Beach access to the fish farm

4WD access to Brooms Head beach

Det Martin said existing campers and residents would not be affected, but other people should not expect access.

"We're not going to stop people having a good time, they will yahoo and carry-on and that's fine. But when they start picking things up and breaking them or becoming aggressive, that's when they'll be told to go home or be taken away," he said.

He said there would also be a police presence in Grafton, Yamba and Maclean during the New Year period.

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