Rioting, anti-social behaviour and violence have broken out in the remote Murchison town of Meekatharra in the days after a funeral was held for a mother and son, compelling police to impose liquor bans in a bid to “restore order”. Police have arrested 18 people, with charges including the assault of a public officer, weapons-related offences and disorderly behaviour in public. Witnesses say the violence broke out after the funeral last Friday, with hundreds of people travelling to the small Murchison town for the event. One woman said she saw a street — where she claims between 200 and 300 people were fighting — sectioned off by police. She said most troublemakers were visitors and it was upsetting for the dedicated locals who worked hard to “stop this kind of thing from happening”. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” she said. At this stage, police and the Meekatharra Liquor Accord have banned takeaway alcohol sales until noon tomorrow, but venues serving alcohol over the counter are allowed to stay open. Commercial Hotel manager John Meachem, a member of the Meekatharra Liquor Accord, said: “(Business owners) don’t like the restrictions but we support them because we know it helps the police who are just doing their best to get everything calmed down.” Local police have taken to social media to calm the public, saying they were doing everything they could to quell the violence. “Meekatharra Police would like to take this opportunity to assure all members of the community police are doing everything possible to restore order and to facilitate moving back to normal business, as soon as possible,” Meekatharra police tweeted.