Police deny being outnumbered and underprepared as out of control brawls rock Melbourne and Sydney

Families fled in terror from Melbourne’s Moomba celebrations on Saturday as the event spiralled into violence.

There were similar scenes in Sydney’s CBD in the early hours of the morning as fights broke out across the city.

Despite warnings from 7 News that gangs were planning to fight in Melbourne, police still found themselves hopelessly outnumbered as the city was transformed into a battlefield.

A night for families to enjoy Moomba fireworks was overrun by hundreds of youths from the Apex and Islander 23 gangs.

Police say they were being taunted and baited but made just four arrests, including one man for carrying a taser.

At 12.30 yesterday 7 News warned police that the brawl was on. They collected the evidence but today denied being under prepared and outnumbered.

What is not in dispute is that Melbourne’s reputation as a safe place for families as been badly shaken.

Just hours later police in Sydney were rushing from one brawl to another as up to 30 people fought and hundreds more watched on in disbelief.

The initial punch up is believed to have spilled out of the Metro Theatre on Central Street, which was packed for a charity music event.

Up to 30 people were involved in several scuffles, all within a few hundred metres.

There were other assaults at Bar 100 at the Rocks, Town hall and on the corner of George and Market streets.

One man was taken to St Vincents Hospital with facial injuries.

So far just two men aged 18 and 24 have been charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest.