Christchurch crate day gets 'out of hand'

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 15:55 02/12/2012

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More than a hundred Christchurch revellers were marched down a street by police as a nationwide alcohol drinking celebration escalated "out of hand".

One resident said locals felt trapped in their homes during the party, which took place in the university suburb of Ilam last night.

The party was one of many events around the country to mark National Crate Day, in which participants drink one dozen 745-millilitre crate beer bottles.

Ilam resident Susan Harding said partygoers started drinking about 4pm, with numbers swelling into the hundreds as the day went on.

"By 11 o'clock it was out of hand, there were just masses and masses and masses wandering up the street drunk."

The drinkers were shouting and yelling at passers-by, urinating in public spaces and smashing beer bottles, she said.

After Harding and several other residents called the police, over a dozen officers arrived to disperse the drunken crowd.

"I'd battened down because I was quite worried, and then I looked out my window and could see a line of police just walking them down the street and pushing them out of the area."

Police spokesman Stephen Hill said eight police cars attended the party.

Officers used their shields to move the partygoers on about 11.45pm, he said.

Harding said the partygoers had wasted police resources, while residents had to clean up after the parties and were often afraid to leave their homes.

"People are frightened to get out of their homes at night, and that's really not on.

"Just because the central city bars are closed and they have nowhere to go, that doesn't give them the right to make our lives miserable."

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