Thursday, 10 December 2009 - 11:34am |

Operation United in Canterbury

2 min read

Police on both sides of the Tasman are collectively addressing this weekend reducing alcohol-related crime, violence and anti social behaviour particularly around licensed premises and entertainment centres.

In Christchurch Police will be focussing on areas where most offending took place last year.

"We've mapped the priority 1 and 2 events over the same weekend in 2008- those which required urgent attention last year," says Inspector Bryan Buck.
"These are mostly in the inner city so we'll be strictly enforcing the Liquor Ban areas and continuing to monitor bars and other licensed premises for any breaches." (see attached map)

Inner city policing will focus on disorder and liquor related offences says Area Commander, Inspector Derek Erasmus.

"We'll be taking a `no nonsense' approach to so called `minor offending as we know that if we intervene at an early stage we prevent anything more serious developing. Minor offending covers minor damage, assaults and disorder.

All staff will be ensuring compliance by Licensed premises in the city.

"We're not apologising for taking a firm and swift approach - in other words, if you offend, prepare to be arrested," he says.

There is significant international evidence of a link between alcohol and
violent crime. Previous New Zealand surveys have indicated that over a year, eight percent of men and five percent of women are physically assaulted by someone who had been drinking. (see attached Policing fact sheet).

On‐licensed premises (such as bars and nightclubs) represent one setting for drinking that can be implicated in violence, especially in the later evening or early morning. Problems can occur when intoxicated patrons either migrate between venues, or when premises close and patrons disperse onto the street. One response to this issue is to adjust liquor license conditions to require later‐trading bars to close earlier.

Recent research when hours were reduced in Timaru (details attached) identifies that a 2007 reduction in licensed premises trading hours in Timaru was associated with a drop in recorded violent offending.

The biggest reduction occurred at weekends when recorded violence halved near Timaru's inner city bars in the early hours of the morning.

Importantly, the evidence suggests violent crime was not simply displaced to an earlier time but the total number of violent incidents recorded by police reduced.

Changes were also noted in non‐criminal incidents, with the number of intoxicated persons taken into safe custody by police dropping by about a third (29%) after the reduction in trading hours.

This weekend will see many staff on the streets each night, including extra staff under the recently introduced 'Peak Load' rostering system (includes staff who do not usually work outside normal business hours). Beat section will also be walking the streets.

"Expect to see lots of police officers around," says Inspector Erasmus.

Road Policing will be targeting drink drivers. Compulsory Breath Testing operations will take place around the city.

People taking part in parties at the home or the office are advised to get someone to drive them home and for hosts to provide plenty of good food to balance the alcohol.

"Our message this year is stay sober and stay safe!"

attachments available on request from