Drunken crime targeted in police crackdown

Last updated 12:17 11/12/2012

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Police arrested 16 people during the weekend for alcohol-related offences during Operation Unite, the sixth trans-Tasman alcohol campaign aimed at challenging alcohol misuse.

Staff at two Blenheim bars were caught selling alcohol to people under the legal drinking age of 18, and four other minor breaches were picked up as part of a controlled purchase operation, police said.

No further details from the operation were available yesterday.

Police said last week the operation was aimed at curbing alcohol-related crime, violence and antisocial behaviour.

Extra police were on duty during the operation, which started on Friday and ran through until Sunday morning.

Tasman police district prevention manager Inspector Brian McGurk said police in the top of the south dealt with about 3500 alcohol-related incidents every year and 79 per cent of those involved disorder.

Most offences were committed in public places, usually near licensed premises, he said.

Alcohol-related arrests during the weekend included:

A 26-year-old man was arrested at 1.55am on Sunday for breaching the peace when he refused to leave the Loft Bar in Kinross St. Constable Andrew Holdaway said the seasonal worker was refused entry into the bar for being too drunk. He began arguing with door staff and patrons entering the bar. He was given a pre-charge warning and released when sober.

A 21-year-old man was arrested at 12.40am in Sunday for disorderly behaviour in Scott St. He was given a pre-charge warning and was released when sober.

A 19-year-old man was arrested for breaching the liquor ban in Market St after being warned earlier by police. He was arrested at 12.52am on Sunday and given a pre-charge warning.

A 25-year-old man was arrested in Scott St at 1.10am on Sunday for disorderly behaviour. The arborist was given a pre-charge warning and released when sober.

A 47-year-old man was also arrested in Scott St for disorderly behaviour. He was arrested at 1.25am on Sunday and given a pre-charge warning.

A 26-year-old man was arrested after a fight at Paddy Barry's Irish Pub in Scott St on Saturday. Mr Holdaway said door staff were restraining the vineyard worker when police arrived at 11.55pm. He was charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence and is to appear in the Blenheim District Court on Monday.

A 17-year-old unemployed man was arrested in Wynen St at 12.10am on Saturday when he was found drinking alcohol in the liquor ban area. He was given a pre-charge warning and was taken home along with a 16-year-old male, who was also drinking, Mr Holdaway said.

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A 29-year-old man was arrested at 3.15am on Saturday for disorderly behaviour in Scott St. He was given a pre-charge warning and released when sober.

- The Marlborough Express

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