SYDNEY, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Victorian Police have been granted additional power to combat gang violence at the city's Moomba festival.
The move comes after 2016's Moomba, Australia's largest free community festival celebrated over four days, was marred by a violent brawl between members of the Apex youth crime gang.
Lisa Neville, Victoria's Police Minister, said police had been granted the ability to search anyone for weapons in the city during the festival.
"We're about a year on now from last year's Moomba which in many ways left a scar on the Victorian community," Neville told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday.
"We're very confident that with the additional resources ... this event will return to an event that is about celebrating Melbourne, an event for families to be involved in and to feel safe in the city."
In addition to increased authority, police will also have the aid of the city's brand new Monitoring and Assessment Centre (MAC) which allows for a coordinated response to any incidents.
Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Crisp vowed that there would not be a repeat of 2016's violent scenes.
"I still remember the images from Moomba last year. I remember being angry at what I'd seen on the Saturday night," Crisp said.
"The fact that members of the community were put in harm's way, that members of Victoria Police were put in harm's way. We've come a long way since then."
Crisp said that there would be "significantly more" officers both in uniforms and plain clothes as well as mounted patrols.
"Anyone who's thinking of coming into the city to cause problems, just think again," he said.
"You'll be confronted by a number of Victoria Police members who will be on to you."