Police arrested 16 people during a riot on Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach just a day after a permanent summer alcohol ban was announced for the area in a bid to reduce violence.
Footage from the scene overnight showed large groups of police pinning several people to the ground during arrests.
Police presence in the area was increased in St Kilda last night as part of Operation Sandsafe, following the announcement of the alcohol ban.
In addition to enforcing the ban, the Operation allows police officers to conduct weapons searches in a bid to further deter criminal behaviour.
In total, 16 people were arrested for an array of offences including assaulting police, criminal damage and drug possession.
Police also conducted 123 searches near the light rail in St Kilda, with another person being arrested for attempted robbery, and one individual being charged for being in the alleged possession of a knife.
Port Phillip Council bowed to a rising tide of pressure from businesses and police to curb a recent spate of violence at the popular beach, three days after an assault there.
Five of the Council’s eight councillors – including St Kilda Mayor Dick Gross – voted to pass the ban, which will now be in place 24 hours a day from November 1 to March 31 each year. Anybody caught with alcohol from December 12 this year may cop a $200 fine.
The ban will not officially be put in force until December 15.
Over the weekend, three men were injured and another was hospitalised after being kicked in the head and assaulted by a group of youths.
Superintendent Philip Green said Port Phillip’s residents “have the right to feel and be safe in the area,” and that raucous and violent behaviour are “scenes we all see too often.”
“These crimes are opportunistic and can be avoided so we’re urging people to secure their belongings out of sight and in a safe place,” he said.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018