Commander Hansen said the young people were networked on social media and carried with them the “banners and tags of street gangs”.
“Overall can I say in 2019 we’ve been happy with the Moomba event itself,” he said.
“Last night [Sunday] was a really quiet night … the CBD had a really good feel about it.”
Those arrested during the celebrations included seven people for public drunkenness, eight for assault, five for possessing weapons and four for drug offences.
Police are also investigating the assault of a 15-year-old girl and an attempted robbery from Sunday night.
During a media conference on Monday, Mr Hansen also addressed footage of a Protective Services Officer seen forcefully pushing a young woman into a wall at Flinders Street Station during the early hours of Sunday.
The footage, obtained by Nine, shows a group of PSOs confronting a pack of young men and when the woman walks towards the scene the PSO can be heard saying: “step back, step back” before pushing her to the ground.
Mr Hansen said while internal affairs would look into the incident, the woman had previously been dealt with by police yet walked back into a “dynamic” arrest situation.
He said 1.3 million people had visited Melbourne’s CBD from Friday to Sunday with Moomba proving to be a “cornerstone” of the community.
“Melbourne is a safe city,” he said.
The weekend’s Moomba violence came three years after the event was marred by the notorious 2016 riots.
That year more than 150 teenagers, many linked to the Apex gang, flooded into the city robbing people of their mobile phones and wreaking havoc as they yelled “f— the police”.
Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.