Wellington police target revellers with 'roadies'

KATIE CHAPMAN
WELLINGTON REPORTER
Last updated 05:00 27/08/2012
drunk in wellington

The aim of the crackdown is to try to prevent crime before it reached Courtenay Place.

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Wellington police are focusing patrols on pedestrian paths from Mt Cook and Newtown to stop drinkers downing a "roadie" as they walk into town.

Moves by police to target alcohol-related harm in the central city include upping mobile patrols and foot patrols to areas where people are known to breach the liquor ban.

Senior Sergeant Hamish Milne, the city's area tactical commander, said "last drink" surveys showed about a third of people involved in incidents in the central city reported having their last drink in a public place.

"It's the roadie that they're having on the way into town."

Streams of people flowed into town along Tasman and Tory streets and Adelaide Rd on Friday and Saturday nights, many continuing to drink along the way, he said.

Car parks and parks on the edges of Courtenay Place, where people would park and drink, were also being targeted.

The aim was to try to prevent crime before it reached Courtenay Place by making patrols in those areas more frequent, he said.

"We're directing more staff and we are focusing their efforts towards undertaking foot patrols in and around Courtenay Place and the places near there where we know people consume alcohol."

Alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour would often move through the city, from the outer suburbs to Cuba St, before ending up at Courtenay Place early in the morning.

But enforcement alone was not enough to address the problem, he said.

"The issue isn't the one drink in the public place - it's the 11 at home, and that's the challenge for us."

Moves to address the drinking culture would help, he said. "There's no magic bullet that's going to solve it."

Two years ago, Wellington City Council extended the liquor ban to Newtown, which had helped improve problems with "vagrants" in the area, Mr Milne said.

Contact Katie Chapman
Wellington reporter
Email: katie.chapman@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @katiechapman28

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- The Dominion Post

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