Police limited over troublesome parties

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2014
Frankleigh St Party
John Kirk-Anderson
CLEAN-UP BEGINS: A person begins cleaning up after a party at a property on Frankleigh St was shut down by police.

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Police say they are "quite restricted" in shutting down out-of-control house parties, making penalising regular offenders difficult.

Police in riot gear shut down a New Year's Eve party at a Spreydon property after up to 200 revellers began breaking windows and throwing bottles.

It was the third week in a row police had been called to the Frankleigh St property, and the second time in less than a week.

Inspector Peter Cooper said police visited the property the two Friday nights leading up to New Year's Eve, and on "each of the last two occasions we've had to remove people from the address".

A Christchurch City Council spokesman said two noise complaints had been received about the property - on November 14 and December 22.

"In both instances, the noise was deemed not unreasonable and no action was taken," he said.

Cooper said police needed "strong ground" to shut down a gathering. "We are quite restricted in what we can and can't do," Cooper said.

"We can't automatically enter an address and close it down. We have to have some pretty strong reasons to go in these days."

Police can only gain access to a property using implied licence, with the owner's consent, with statutory authority without a warrant or statutory authority with a warrant.

Police could not do much more than deal with the situation when they were called out, Cooper said.

However, neighbours earlier told The Press they were tired of regular parties at the house, with teenagers using driveways as toilets and children drinking in the street.

Neighbour Zak Coulter said he had called police in the past and was told an officer would be sent "as soon as possible" by an operator.

However, he rarely saw police visit the property as a result of his calls.

Cooper said residents should first call noise control if there were issues with an event's volume, and police should be notified when there was "disorder on the street".

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- The Press

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