20 April 2008
Waikato Police are crediting a positive public attitude and a larger, more visible presence as the reasons arrest numbers over the Hamilton 400 are down on normal.
The officer in charge of Operation 400, Inspector John Kelly, said there were 28 arrests overnight however this figure covers from 12.00pm yesterday through to 6am this morning.
"So given the extended reporting time these numbers are again below average and given 7 of those arrested were from a party in Hillcrest we are very happy with how the evening progressed.
"At the event itself there were a number of evictions but again nothing like what we anticipated so from a policing perspective it has been a very positive experience."
Things came to a grinding halt for one Tauranga race fan however when he failed to make the grid, discovered with what officials describe as a very well forged contractors access pass.
"The ironic thing for that man is that not only was he evicted and may face follow up action he lost his genuine 3 day ticket as well," said Mr Kelly.
Officers walking through the entertainment area reported a steady, good natured crowd with little trouble.
Earlier in the day the value of having eyes in the skies was proven when the Police Eagle helicopter assisted in tracking a man driving under the influence.
"We had a *555 call of a vehicle being driven erratically north of the city, the helicopter was able to pinpoint the vehicle and assist in it being stopped, the driver was found to be driving over the limit.
"A short time later they were able to track the driver of a car that lost control and collided with a powerpole, catching fire, at the intersection of Bryant and Te Rapa Roads.
"The driver fled on foot but was tracked by the helicopter and arrested nearby, a quantity of methamphetamine was recovered in the car."
This morning the helicopter was able to track a group of people allegedly throwing debris on to the track from a bridge.
One of the main concerns Police hold for today is the large volumes of traffic expected to exit the city once the event concludes.
"We ask people to be patient, plan their routes and drive to the conditions to ensure everyone makes it back home in one piece," said Mr Kelly.