Extra police on duty for grand finals

EXTRA officers will assist Wimmera police in a bid to crackdown on unruly behaviour at football and netball grand finals.

The State Highway Patrol will help Wimmera police at grand finals for Horsham District league at Horsham City Oval, Mininera and District league at Willaura and Mallee league at Rainbow tomorrow.

Police will also have a greater presence at the Wimmera Football League grand final in Stawell on September 22.

Acting Inspector Brendan Broadbent said extra police would monitor roads across the region after the grand finals for drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

"We will have operations on both weekends, with the State Highway Patrol taskforce assisting and plain-clothed members checking on liquor licensing at hotels and monitoring public order in the streets,'' he said.

Mr Broadbent said people needed to celebrate responsibly at and after the grand finals.

"We don't want to stop clubs from holding celebrations, it is just ensuring celebrations are within the requirements of liquor licensing laws,'' he said. "People need to celebrate without going over the top.''

Mr Broadbent said the death of Port Adelaide footballer John McCarthy in Las Vegas on Monday showed tragedies could occur when celebrating.

"Celebrations are not just by teams in the finals either, clubs have Mad Monday and end of season trips,'' he said.

"Teams and team-mates need to look after each other. I would hate to see anything happen here, like what has happened to the Port Adelaide player.''

Mr Broadbent said clubs should also notify police if they are going to have Mad Monday celebrations at licensed premises.

"We would rather not have two clubs in a licensed premises at the same time in case tensions arise,'' he said.

Mr Broadbent said police would visit licensed selling points at the grounds to make sure clubs were complying.

"We will also be keeping an eye out for spectators bringing in alcohol to the ground, and ask others to bring it to our attention if people are doing that,'' he said.

Mr Broadbent said the police had worked closely with clubs to outline their responsibilities.

He said police had been happy with players and spectators' behaviour at grand finals in past years.

"Most people do take care to plan their transport but there is a small minority that think they are either above the law or can get away with it,'' he said.

"If they are prepared to run the risk, they will suffer the consequences.''

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