Echuca-Moama publicans and police are working together to take a stand against people doing the wrong things while in the area for sporting groups on end-of-season trips.By Trent Horneman
Police and publicans are working together to take a stand against drunken sporting groups on end-of-season trips to Echuca-Moama.
Echuca Police Senior Sergeant Mick Carroll said he knew of at least 14 sporting clubs travelling to Echuca-Moama in the coming weeks.
Sen. Sgt Carroll said he would personally contact clubs travelling to Echuca-Moama to warn them about the consequences of stepping out of line.
‘‘We will usually send police to hotels when they arrive to hand them a letter encouraging them to have a good time, but to behave,’’ he said.
Sen. Sgt Carroll said while there had been incidents in Echuca-Moama in the past, police and publicans were doing everything in their power to stop anti-social behavior.
‘‘When there is a large number of people around drinking alcohol, there is always the potential for trouble,’’ he said.
‘‘In the past, we have had fights between rival teams, property damage and other anti-social behaviour.’’
Sen. Sgt Carroll said next year’s sporting trip season would improve with the introduction of a designated area in Echuca’s central business district.
As part of the designated area, police could ban a person from entering the port and central business district for a period of 72 hours.
Sen. Sgt Carroll said while group mentality could cause trouble, he believed the culture was changing.
‘‘Most of those involved behave themselves, it is the odd one or two who ruin it,’’ he said.
‘‘When we arrest a player involved in an end-of-season trip, I will write to the club’s league to explain what happened.
‘‘It’s funny, I have never had one club write back to say thanks.’’
Echuca publican Paul Jarman agreed the culture within sporting clubs was changing.
He said it was important for his staff to communicate with the group early.
‘‘We find that by talking to the group when they first arrive, they are a lot more receptive,’’ he said.
‘‘In the past three years we have had very little trouble. Most of the groups who come here are well behaved.’’
Mr Jarman said his fellow central Echuca publicans were also conscious of monitoring sporting groups.
‘‘We all have security and management plans in place to deal with these issues.
‘‘Things can still go wrong, but all of the publicans in the precinct have been around a long time,’’ he said.
Moama’s Border Inn also services a large number of sporting clubs.
Publican Danny Powell said his staff carefully screened any clubs staying at his hotel’s accommodation venues.
‘‘If they arrived and fell out of the bus then there is no way that we would let them stay,’’ he said.
‘‘We also have credit card details of the the trip organiser and we keep them to account.’’
Mr Powell said his regular customers were most important.
‘‘I am not going to risk losing my good loyal customers for the sake of a group here for the weekend,’’ he said.
Poll: Do you think end-of-season sporting club trips still go too far? Have your say in our poll (right of page).
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