Christchurch Police targeting alcohol, disorder and driving

Christchurch Police targeting alcohol, disorder and driving

National News

It's back to business as usual for Christchurch Police - who will be actively targeting alcohol-related offending, along with bad driving, as the city returns to life post-quake.

Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent Dave Cliff, says a key focus for police in the short term is to support the community as people seek to re-establish their routines.

"That means keeping crime off the streets - so people can concentrate on taking care of themselves, their loved ones and their communities.

"There's no room right now for crime, for stupid behaviour and for bad driving.

"Police patrols are out and about throughout the city and we will be taking action against offenders."

Superintendent Cliff says alcohol is a major risk factor in the aftermath of the earthquake.

"People are dealing with stress in different ways - and alcohol is one of them," he says. "We urge people to act responsibly and not overindulge. We don't want to see alcohol-related crime increasing and police will be targeting hot spots.

"We'll be focusing on alcohol this weekend as people return to socialising and as students return to the city.

"Our community has been through a hell of a trauma - and people need space and peace to recover and rebuild. Drunken louts and alcohol-fuelled violence won't be welcome."

Superintendent Cliff says police are also keeping a close eye on family violence. "We understand people are under stress - but violence is no solution. There are plenty of support services out there and we encourage people to talk to someone or seek assistance."
Driving behaviour is also under the spotlight. Superintendent Cliff says motorists are slipping into some bad post-earthquake habits which are potentially putting lives at risk.

"We're seeing motorists talking on cellphones, speeding along damaged roads, running red lights ... and it's got to stop. In the coming days and weeks we will be coming down hard on unsafe driving.
"An inattentive driver is a disaster waiting to happen. We've seen enough loss of life already and we don't want to be dealing with children knocked over by a distracted driver.

"Many of our streets are badly damaged. It's more important than ever that motorists exercise patience, allow extra time to complete their journeys, observe road rules and show extra consideration to other road users and residents."

Superintendent Cliff urged people to contact police with any reports of crime or suspicious behaviour.

"We have the resources to respond. With additional staff from around New Zealand and Australia in the city, we are able to maintain our reassurance patrols as well as dealing with reported crime - people should not hesitate to call us."

ENDS
Christchurch Media Liaison Team: 027 432 0960 or ChchPoliceMediaLiason@police.govt.nz
Public Affairs: 04 460 2986 or 04 474 9482