National

Brawlers in police sights over Melb fight

By AAP Newswire

The organisers of a record label launch in Melbourne were urged in advance by police to cancel the event which erupted into a wild brawl that led to a teenager being seriously injured.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said police warned organisers and legal teams about the risks to public safety prior to the event on Saturday at the Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood, where a wild brawl of 200-odd people spilled onto the road.

"What concerns me the most is I understand there were conversations about this event not occurring because of some of the risks that police had identified to the organisers and the legal teams. They were in those meetings," she told reporters on Tuesday.

"Everyone seemed to override the information, the public safety advice that Victoria Police had provided."

She said she would look at police being more involved in permits involving potentially violent demonstrations.

She denied suggestions police did not provide the resources needed due to a fear of complaints, after media reports representatives from the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre were present.

"I have never ever seen any evidence to suggest Victoria Police shy away from making arrests based on fear of complaints, ever," she said.

The 18-year-old man was pinned between two cars and his leg was crushed during the fight, when a car was driven into parked cars.

Police issued a statement on Tuesday clarifying that his leg had not been amputated, despite previously saying it had.

The accused driver, also 18, was arrested and released pending further inquiries.

Six other people were also injured in the incident.

"Our members at a local level say they requested additional resources and were told that the response would be business as usual," the Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt told reporters on Monday.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Hill said police knew about the risks of the 66 Records launch weeks beforehand and urged the hotel not to go ahead with the event.

Fitzroy Legal Service executive officer Claudia Fatone said none of her staff attended the launch but had been involved in talks in the lead-up to the event.

"There was no definitive concerns about specifically what would occur would actually occur," she told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

She said representatives from the Melbourne Activist Support attended the event. AAP has contacted the group for comment.

Police are expected to speak to the 200-odd people involved in the coming weeks.