State MP for Tweed, Geoff Provest.
State MP for Tweed, Geoff Provest. The Northern Star

Kingscliff's riot shame on web

WEARING Aussie flags around their necks and hurling abuse at police, Kingscliff youths have been accused of trying to imitate the Cronulla riots in a video posted on YouTube.

The amateur five-minute footage was posted on the popular internet website and is believed to have been recorded at a Kingscliff park on Australia Day. (WARNING: the video contains offensive language and some violence.)

The video shows three uniformed police officers arresting a teenage girl while scores of other young people look on and cheer.

Many of them are wearing Australian flags as capes, and what appear to be empty alcohol bottles are strewn on the grass around them.

Voices can be heard screaming and swearing at the police as the footage goes on.

Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest - an advocate for more police on the Tweed - said he was ashamed of the video.

“They appear to be imitating the Cronulla riots, with the Aussie flags tied around their necks and the yelling abuse at police,” Mr Provest said.

“You just shake your head in disappointment at the anti-social behaviour.

“It's a real shame file. The parents of these kids would be ashamed and the schools they attend would be ashamed.”

When another young person gets arrested in the footage, several of the youths call out “Let's riot, let's riot!”

But when a second police vehicle arrives at the scene, one person says: “That's too many for us, let's bail.”

Mr Provest said the footage backs up his campaign for more police in the area.

“I'll bring it up in Parliament again - asking for more police numbers,” he said. “I'll attempt to have a meeting with (NSW Police Minister) Tony Kelly and show him the footage.

“You hear the language coming from the crowd, yelling out at them - they cop a lot of abuse. That situation could've really got out of hand. A lot of the crowd appear to be under the influence of alcohol, which is another concern.”

Tweed Police crime co- ordinator, Sergeant Stuart Crawford, said the emergence of such videos was becoming common.

“Alcohol-fuelled violence is an issue that we need to address - police, council and parents,” Sgt Crawford said. “We have our youth and school liaison police regularly visiting schools to talk about underage drinking and cyber bullying, but parents also need to take responsibility for their children. The situation ... could've turned extremely nasty for police.”

Just weeks ago, police attended a large brawl in Murwillumbah, where a number of youths were heard yelling out in support of the 2005 race riots in Cronulla.

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