Cops to swarm Melbourne beach as extremists rally

Hundreds of police will swarm a popular Melbourne beach in a bid to keep the peace as warring extremists stage rival events.

Officers from the riots and dog squads, mounted and transit branches will be out in force patrolling St Kilda beach on Saturday searching for weapons among the crowd.

Convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson plan to gather a rally of far-right extremists at the beach in the afternoon to "discuss" Melbourne's youth crime problem.

"This gathering will only be the first of many, many more if these state & media bureaucrats do not change their tune," Mr Cottrell wrote for social media on Friday night.

The event, promoted on social media, has raised the interest of anti-racism protesters and authorities.

"Whether you are on the ultra-right or the ultra-left, this is a family beach and Victoria Police will be there in force to keep it safe," Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said ahead of the event.

She urged those keen to cause trouble not to wreck a weekend for Victorians at the beach.

The planned event comes a week after Erikson confronted young men of African background who were playing soccer at the beach and after several incidents over the festive period involving groups of youths robbing beachgoers.

Cottrell and Erikson in 2017 were convicted and fined in the Magistrates Court for inciting contempt and ridicule of Muslims by making a video in which they beheaded a dummy with a toy sword in a protest against the building of the Bendigo mosque.

Cottrell is appealing his conviction in the County Court.

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