Kapiti booze ban proposed to control violence
Kapiti District Council is considering a liquor ban after a spate of late-night violence in the area.
The fatal stabbing of Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, over the weekend, five weeks after his friend Izak Millanta, 17, died after a violent incident in the same spot in Kapiti Lights car park has led many to question safety in the area.
A meeting between councillors and police was held today to discuss possible initiatitives.
Solutions put forward included a formal liquor ban, which would ban drinking in public, in the general Kapiti area. The ban for the general area would be backed through a by-law with police offering to support the move.
There is already a liquor ban in the private area owned by Kapiti Lights though enforcement of this is left up to staff.
Kapiti Mana Area Commander Inspector John Price said police would continue to take a zero tolerance approach to alcohol-fuelled violence.
Mr Price said following today's meeting police would ensure are even more visible presence in the area.
"We will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to disorder, possession of offensive weapons and intoxication. Anyone caught breaking the law can expect to be arrested and face a night in the cells."
Police resources in the Kapiti Lights complex were bolstered following the death of Mr Millanta just over five weeks ago.
"Following Izak's tragic death, local Police began discussions with Kapiti Coast District Council and partner agencies to address the issues of alcohol-fuelled violence," Mr Price said. "Over the weekend, another young man's life was tragically cut short as a result of a fight."
Mayor Jenny Rowan said today's meeting was a conversation about how the community should respond.
''It was about showing leadership and a way through. What we don't want and must not have, is another tragic incident.
"The problem we have is the Kapiti Lights car park area is private land and this does provide a limit at the moment on what both council and the police can do."
The council will conduct an audit of the Kapiti Lights area this week and meet with the property owners to see what changes can be made. Other suggestions have been better lighting in the car park area, increased CCTV surveillance, a community bus and an increased police presence.
Ms Rowan said police had a good idea of who the individuals in question were and would be enforcing zero tolerance.
''It is clear we have a group of young men who drink too much and resort to violence with tragic outcomes.''
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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