Message from the Chief Commissioner

Police serve a warning to potential trouble makers at the Australian Open

Release date: Thu 10 January 2008

Last updated: Fri 11 January 2008

With the first grand slam of the year just days away, Victoria Police is encouraging all those attending the Australian Open to behave responsibly to ensure the event is trouble free and enjoyable for all.

There will be a visible police presence in and around Melbourne Park and patrons are warned that any inappropriate or illegal conduct will not be tolerated.

A close eye will be kept on the crowd at all times and police will use CCTV security cameras to identity any unruly behaviour that may spoil the event for others.

Superintendent John Cooke said Victoria Police and Tennis Australia have been working closely together to ensure crowd safety is the real winner throughout the tournament.

"The Australian Open continues to attract large crowds each year and we want people to enjoy themselves and cheer their favourite players on," Superintendent Cooke said .

"However we will not accept inappropriate crowd behaviour and anyone caught doing the wrong thing will face strict penalties which may include immediate arrest or eviction or being turned away at the entrance."

He added that under the Major Events (Crowd Management) Act 2003, police can ban any troublemakers from Melbourne Park for 24 hours if they disrupt or interrupt the game, or cause annoyance to spectators.

If anyone is caught trying to re-enter the venue after being evicted, police will then issue a $215 on-the-spot fine.

"The Australian Open is, and has always been, a family friendly environment and we urge all patrons to be mindful of their surrounding and not ruin the event for others," Superintendent Cooke said .

Patrons are reminded that alcohol cannot be brought into the venue and can only be purchased and consumed at licensed venues. Other prohibited items include laser pointers, whistles, loud hailers and weapons.

All patrons will be subject to bag checks and police encourage fans to arrive at Melbourne Park early to avoid missing any courtside action.

Beck Angel
Media Officer

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