Website targets partying practices

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014

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Out-of-control Christchurch student parties could be a thing of the past thanks to a new police-monitored online register.

Riccarton residents have welcomed the plan as the university year starts next week.

The Good One campaign - a scheme backed by police, universities, students' associations and other agencies - uses an online register where organisers can register their party, gain advice and recruit police support.

The site has the support of students struggling to deal with riotous parties fuelled by social media and unwanted guests.

Riccarton neighbourhood Sergeant Steve Jones said his team had been focusing on eradicating "antisocial behaviour, which largely came down to house parties" in the student area.

They were regularly being contacted by student party organisers in advance and, he said, there were no "riotous" parties in 2013 despite it being common before.

"Planning ahead and identifying risks can make all the difference between a great celebration and one that hits the headlines for all the wrong reasons."

Police could visit flats before parties to offer support. If any alarm bells were identified they could visit during the night as a preventative measure.

"We're not aiming to prevent parties, and we realise that people are going to socialise."

Canterbury University student Cameron Bignell, 21, said he had been warning police about his flat parties over the last few years, and found it helpful to have backup whenever strangers came to cause "ruckus in the house".

"It just provided a real good atmosphere. We could've had some serious damage to the house or other partygoers, I guess."

The fourth-year student supported the new party register, and would promote it to friends.

Canterbury Students' Association president Sarah Platt backed the online initiative because it encouraged students to be good neighbours. She wanted students to know it was not a measure to try to control them.

Lincoln University Students' Association president Kahlia Fryer said the register was a "fantastic idea".

"There's always parties that are out of control that often include students. But we've been working with the police on it."

Canterbury University Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr said it was not trying to stop students from enjoying themselves, but offering a tool so socialising could be done in a safe and responsible manner.

Go to goodone.org.nz for more information and to register a Christchurch party.

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- The Press

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