Drunk ?thugs? at rugby won?t be tolerated: police


ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour at Yamba Oval will be targeted in coming weeks as part of a police crackdown.

Drunken youths at the grounds have disrupted junior rugby union games in recent weeks, but Grafton police Inspector Darren Spooner said the behaviour would not be tolerated.

"There was one particular match where ... (we) had a lot of young people turn out and there were some associated problems caused by those youths," he said.

"We received a number of compliants and as a result for the next four weeks, probably longer, we will be out there in force on a Friday night to patrol the oval during matches."

Insp Spooner said last Friday night was the first in a series of crackdowns in which at least five officers will be dedicated to patrolling the oval.

Police will be confiscating alcohol brought to the ground and keeping an eye on the behaviour of spectators.

"There is no way we're going to let these thugs cause problems for the kids who are out there playing rugby, and we're going to make sure visitors can come here and play in safety," Insp Spooner said.

Yamba Junior Rugby Club committee member Gus Young said the club was pleased to work with the police and Clarence Valley Council to stamp out the bad behaviour.

"We're extremely happy that the police and council are 100 per cent behind the club," he said.

"We've got 120 juniors in the club and they're all doing the right thing. We don't mind the kids coming down to watch their mates on Friday nights, but we can't have them drinking on the sideline and creating havoc with the crowd."

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