Football stars on the job with cops

A FIVE-week police operation targeting under-age drinking and antisocial behaviour in St Marys has been hailed a success.

Police have run Operation Enough on Friday and Saturday nights for the last five weeks.

The operation was previously an annual weekend blitz until this year.

Tasks included inspections of licensed premises, street patrols, keeping an eye on parties and random breath tests.

Penrith Panthers NRL players including Jamie Soward, Tim Grant, Tom Humble, Nathan Smith and Matt Moylan accompanied police throughout the operation.

"They were only required from 6pm to 10pm but they'd stay with us until 3am," said acting Inspector Robert McDonald.

"We had Tim Grant, Matt Robinson and Tom Humble moving people on outside The Brewhouse last weekend.

"We've found on every occasion that having the players there has broken down barriers, especially at parties getting out of control. People don't expect to see footy players to be with us."

Those caught drinking under-age were referred to the Your Choices program, which St Marys police hope to run early next year.

Instead of getting an infringement notice they will attend a seminar facilitated by youth and school liaison and crime prevention officers together with a health professional.

"We're not talking about 17-year-olds, these are aged 15, 14 and even younger," Inspector McDonald said.

He said police came across some of the same youths each weekend.

"Some get the message while others don't which can be frustrating," he said.

Many parents are surprised to get a call from police.

"Most have no idea their kids are out at night or hanging around the people they're associated with."

Operation Enough will be back next year. "We're looking to other avenues to involve the NRL players, such as forums," he said.

Operation Enough stats

■ More than 80 police deployed over the five weekends

■ More than 200 separate

interactions with people

■ 22 arrests made for many

offences

■ 40 related charges

■ 4 infringement notices

■ 212 person searches

■ 86 move-on directions issued

■ 27 vehicle searches

■ 25 youths referred to Your

Choices program

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