Monday, 27 June 2005 - 3:01pm |
National News

Wellington Police geared for big rugby week in Capital

3 min read

Enjoy yourselves but not at the expense of others - that's the message from Wellington Police as rugby fans descend on the capital in readiness for this weekend's second test between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions.

Inspector Paul Berry, Wellington Police Operations Manager, says public safety is the police focus - both in the lead up to and aftermath of Saturday night's game.

"It's a big week for Wellington and we want everyone to have a good time, whether they're local residents, national or international visitors," Inspector Berry says. "Crowd behaviour at events associated with the rugby has been pretty good so far on the Lions tour so we're hoping the positive atmosphere will continue."

Police will have a high visibility in the city this week, particularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Staff from elsewhere in the Wellington District have been brought it to help, particularly on Friday night, game day and during the after match festivity period.

Inspector Berry says roads will be busier than usual in the central city, and on the main highways with thousands of overseas visitors travelling in campervans and rental cars.

He urges people to be patient on the roads, to allow plenty of time to reach destinations and to use public transport where possible, particularly on Saturday.

Special attention is being given to traffic and alcohol issues. Checkpoints will be run and the extended liquor ban strictly enforced.

Police advise:

• If you're new to driving on Wellington's narrow streets or highways, take special care. Park your vehicle so others can get safely passed.
• Park and secure your vehicle in approved parking zones. Make sure your valuables are locked out of sight or left in hotel or motel safe boxes.
• Be aware of ice in hills and shaded areas. Listen for road closures.
• Courtenay Place, between Cambridge Terrace and Taranaki Street, is closed to traffic and will become a pedestrian only zone from 7pm on Friday 1 July to 8am on Sunday 3 July. Tory Street between Wakefield and Tennyson Streets will be closed during the same periods along with Blair and Allen Streets. Traffic diversions are signposted.
• A liquor ban runs from 5pm on Friday 1 July to 6am on Sunday 3 July. You cannot drink or possess alcohol in public places in the zone - apart from specially licensed bar or cafe outdoor seating areas. The liquor ban zone includes the area between the Railway Station and the Westpac Stadium concourse. Finish your drink or tip it out in bins provided before leaving the Stadium after the game.
• Use public transport to get to the rugby, and allow plenty of time to reach Westpac Stadium. Extra trains are on, there are parking restrictions near the Stadium and no on site parking unless you have already bought a Stadium parking ticket.
• Stay alert for other road users when you're walking to the Stadium or into the city afterwards.
• If you're driving, make sure you're a sober driver - there will be checkpoints operating.
• Look after your mates and get home safely.

Inspector Berry says police will be setting up a 'satellite' police base in the Courtenay Place entertainment precinct during the test weekend.

"We'll have a high visibility presence throughout the Courtenay Place and inner city malls areas before and after the game."

Wellington Police will also have a security interest in Prince William's visit to the Capital later in the week.

"We have appropriate steps in place to ensure the Prince's safety while he is here on largely a private visit," Inspector Berry says.