Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 9:00am |

Tackling alcohol misuse: An opportunity for everyone

1 min read

Eastern Police District Commander, Superintendent Grant Nicholls said today that Police in the District were committed to reducing harm caused in the community by alcohol misuse.

Responding to recent media articles regarding Police enforcement of the Havelock North alcohol ban, over the past 12 months, Superintendent Nicholls said "A review of our approach to alcohol related offending has already begun".

He said alcohol misuse coming to Police attention was often the domain of a minority resulting in antisocial or criminal behaviour. Police recognise the role alcohol misuse plays in offending and have commenced a review of policing strategies.

He anticipated an even closer working relationship with those involved in the alcohol industry and other key partners coupled with selected targeted enforcement designed to reduce anti-social or criminal behaviour. "This is an opportunity for a number of people to get involved and reduce the harm caused by alcohol misuse".

"Greater enforcement during risk periods is desirable in an effort to reduce antisocial and criminal behaviour often associated to alcohol misuse." He said there were opportunities for preventative and educational approaches also.

He emphasised that everyone has a part to play in diminishing harm associated to alcohol misuse. "There is a social responsibility aspect, where a number of people can work together to reduce the detrimental outcomes from alcohol misuse, primarily, of course, the individuals who choose to drink to excess."

There are a number of aspects under consideration, enforcement being one part of the approach. "Early identification of binge and chronic drinkers and how best to get them the assistance they need operates overseas and could be worth exploring here."

He encouraged those people who "binge" drink to recognise the harm they cause themselves and others, and to modify their ‘drinking behaviour’. Binge drinking is more likely to occur on weekends, involving groups of people consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in a relatively short time frame.

As our ‘local strategy’ develops we will consider international practices and their relevance in order to formulate the most effective approach".