BENDIGO police have a strong message for footballers celebrating Mad Monday: anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
Leading Senior Constable Todd Deary said Mad Monday celebrations - held to commemorate the end of the AFL season - would be taking place throughout September.
He said celebrations often involved people behaving in a loud and obnoxious manner - including vomiting in the streets - and descended into drunken brawls when players encountered members of opposing clubs.
"Problems occur when you have two lots of Mad Mondays at the one pub," he said.
"You might have two clubs and a bit of friendly banter and someone throws a punch and it goes from there.
"It's a group mentality fuelled by alcohol and immaturity."
He said he would encourage all clubs to consider hosting celebrations at private venues, including people's homes, to curb anti-social behaviour in public.
"It'd be better held in private - away from where other people will be affected by it," he said.
"Take it up the river; take it away from everyone else."
He said people who behaved badly would be held accountable.
"Be responsible, because if you're not the police will be taking action," he said.
"We'll have to lay down the law and say if this continues you'll be locked up for being drunk in a public place."
Acting Inspector Paul Gardiner said he encouraged clubs to have sober people attend celebrations to supervise activities and ensure they didn't get out of control.
"We encourage people to have a good time but not to go overboard," he said.
"Don't excessively consume alcohol and get involved in stupid activities.
"We don't want it to reflect badly on anyone."
He said police had good relationships with many Bendigo pubs, which often refused to continue serving alcohol to intoxicated people.