Inspector Gary Knowles, Acting District Commander, Canterbury, says he is more than satisfied that his staff acted appropriately in closing down an 18th birthday party at Ladbrooks last Saturday night.
At 10pm Police received a phone call from an anonymous parent at the party who was concerned at the number of youths there and the level of intoxication and requested that Police attend.
Three police officers attended and observed in excess of 300 youths outside the hall, some grossly intoxicated and many quite drunk, some aged 15 years. It was suggested that some be removed but an adult present declined.
The party was to shut at 1am. The attending officers made the decision to ask the Tactical Response Group to close the party down.
The Tactical Response Group was wearing the new, standard issue, stab resistant vests and their police issue caps.
The Police contingent did not have to ask those present to leave or push anyone along; their presence was sufficient in clearing the hall and the courtyard outside.
There were no problems except for one male who was abusive and aggressive towards Police. He took a 'swipe' at one of the officers and was arrested. He was taken back to the police station cell block to calm down.
Many of the youths left in cars parked outside. Clearly there was no ability to start breath testing with the number of Police there but they monitored those driving as best as possible in the circumstances.
The youths were not out on the road and waited on the verge. It was orderly. Police remained to ensure safety of those there. Taxis were not arranged by Police - this would have been impossible in any case. Taxis would be unlikely to turn up there - being out of the city and for drunken teenagers.
"I would suggest that it would have been up to the organisers or those attending to ensure they had some way home," says Acting District Commander, Inspector Gary Knowles. "There were no further problems. It was however clear to Police attending that they were not welcome there.
"I am satisfied the attending Police were professional and took the correct action," he says.