Friday, 17 April 2009 - 8:14am |

Hamilton 400 release 1

2 min read

Hamilton Police are urging both visitors and residents to take advantage of the free buses as they work to lessen congestion on the City's streets with the commencement of the Hamilton 400 race event this morning.

Operational commander, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said there were a number of chokepoints around the City yesterday that could be kept clear if people took the bus option.

"As of 8am today traffic flow from the south, north and east heading into the City were described as good and the turn offs to the park and ride venue are clearly marked with electronic billboards and detour signs."

Overnight in the City Police reported a quiet night with 25 arrests made between 6pm-6am.

"Normally you would expect around 20 on a Thursday night between 10pm-3am, staff reported the CBD as busy around dinner time but then the crowd emptied out.

"Patrons were described as being very positive and we hope this becomes the flavour for the duration of the event," said Mr Carpenter.

While the vast majority of visitors were in a positive mood three Paeroa men who had bussed into Hamilton the day before decided they didn't want to wait for the next bus home and tried to steal a car from a Hamilton East address.

"Unfortunately for them the Mazda they chose had no petrol and a neighbour heard the disturbance and called Police.

"A responding patrol car accounted for one 18-year-old while another decided he didn't want to wait for a Police Dog to find him and gave himself up, a short time later the third offender, a 16-year-old also decided to give himself up when he saw the dog."

On the negative side Police are questioning the wisdom of an Anglesea St car yard that decided to run a burnout competition yesterday.

"Burnouts are not part of the V8s and very little skill is required to perform this sought of activity. We question the sense of attracting people to such an event as we believe it sends the totally wrong message about safe driving," said Mr Carpenter.

"We want the racing to be on the track and not on the roads, if we plan our trips wisely, make use of the free public transport and allow ourselves plenty of time we will all have an enjoyable Hamilton 400 weekend."