Police Say More Officers Needed at Riot Scene


The Police Association is backing calls for more officers to be assigned to the popular tourist town of Yamba, where an alleged riot broke out on Saturday Night.

Officers were pelted with bricks and rocks and a police van set on fire as a party spiralled out of control on Saturday night.

Four men will face court today over the alleged attack.

A total of 13 people have been charged in relation to the incident, and a 50-year-old man, a 22-year-old, 20-year-old and an 18-year-old will face Grafton Local Court later today.

Police say two officers were injured during the incident and estimate the damage to the vehicles at around 50-thousand dollars.

The Nationals MP, Steve Cansdell recently launched a petition calling for more officers and 24-hour policing in the town.

“You know they have one police car there from Sunday to Thursday and they say if possible they try and have two police cars,” Mr Cansdell said.

“That area is 45 minutes from one end to the other, this is not acceptable and… the minister needs to take his portfolio seriously, stop playing politics with it and just get more police allocated,” he said.

The Police Association’s Tony King says the state government might start listening now.

“Well we can only hope you know, we’ve got police that are attending jobs like this down there at Yamba, you know the potential for danger and harm to them was great,” Mr King said.

“It was just one of those incidents and with a bit of luck the government will now listen and start putting the sufficient police numbers we need in these areas,” he said.

Superintendent Mark Holahan, from the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command, says it’s one of the worst incidents he’s seen in 32 years as a police officer.

“Some of these people are 16 years of age and we allege that their behaviour is absolutely disgusting, it’s abhorrent, they’re facing charges that carry a maximum 15 years in jail,” Supt Holahan said.

“We also know that at that party there were a number of people who weren’t engaged in this behaviour, who probably feel a little bit upset by what these people have done, who probably need to come and speak to us as well, to let us hear their side of the story,” he said.

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