Four arrested as Christmas Day beach parties in Melbourne and Sydney turn sour

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Police and revellers exchange accusations after confrontations involving several thousand people at St Kilda and Little Bay

Four people have been arrested after two huge, unplanned Christmas parties involving more than 8,000 people, Santa hats and a lot of alcohol in Melbourne and Sydney.

Five thousand people gathered at Melbourne’s St Kilda beach on Monday afternoon and continued drinking past the local council’s 8pm alcohol ban, trashing the foreshore and resulting in two people being arrested for public drunkenness and assault. A 27-year-old man was hit by a tram in the aftermath, a 27-year-old woman was taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning and several others were injured by stepping on broken glass, police said.

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