31 October 2001
Do you know what the Counties Manukau team policing unit does? Where do they police, who do they interact with, who are the unit?
Newly appointed officer in charge of the unit Sergeant Mike McIlraith says there are many myths surrounding this particular section of the police and he wants to dispel any incorrect images the public has of the team policing unit.
"We units our main priority is to police in a proactive and preventative fashion by visiting the drinking establishments all over the Counties Manukau area and making sure the liquor laws are adhered to."
The team policing unit also attend private parties that get out of control. The unit are called in by either the person in charge of the party or the neighbours who believe things are getting out of hand. If the unit decides, after consultation with the adults in charge, to close a party down, it is for the sole purpose of restoring order and keeping the peace.
Sergeant McIlraith says much of the unit’s time is dedicated to parties, when they become riotous either through too much alcohol consumption, no or little adult supervision, or when gate crashers decide they want to join a gathering uninvited.
"There are problem spots with this type of behaviour in different parts of Counties Manukau, however, in the Eastern area it seems to be prevalent almost every weekend. Last Saturday night, out of four parties the team policing unit were called to three were in the Eastern suburbs."
When the unit goes into disperse a party it is always with good reason. It could be the supervisor of the party believes things are getting out of control, party-goers maybe spilling out onto the street causing disorder or there is concern for safety if gatecrashers have arrived and are causing trouble.
"We would like a little planning and thought to go into parties, and most of all consideration given to neighbours, who are often left to clean up broken bottles and things like destroyed letter boxes, in the aftermath the next morning."
"Let your neighbours know you are having a party, most won’t mind if they have prior warning and the frequency of parties is not excessive."
Sergeant McIlraith says if parents or guardians want advice about holding a safe and responsible party they can ring him and his unit at the Wiri Central police station on ph (09) 2611 300.
The most important points to remember are:
Is there an adult in charge of the party
If alcohol is available is there a sober person monitoring the consumption
Are there food and non-alcoholic drinks available
Have the neighbours been given prior warning
Strict control of invitees only
"We want everyone to have a good time, however, not at the expense of damaged property, over consumption of alcohol and general disorderly behaviour spilling out onto usually quiet neighbourhood streets."
RELEASED BY ANGELINE BARLOW
PH: 09 2590653