Cops crackdown on booze-fuelled crime

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 13:00 13/12/2013

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Police will be out in force from tonight in a weekend operation targeting anti-social behaviour and alcohol misuse.

Australian and New Zealand police are again combining for Operation Unite to tackle alcohol-related crime and violence.

Additional police will be patrolling and monitoring drivers around the Nelson CBD area and controlled purchase operations will be done at licensed premises.

Police have said there will be a zero tolerance for disorder and liquor ban breaches.

Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Steve Greally said that nationally, a third of recorded violence crime was alcohol-related.

About half of offenders or victims of homicides or serious assaults were affected by alcohol.

Statistics showed most alcohol-related offences were committed in public places, usually near licensed premises.

Mr Greally said police would not only focus on the area surrounding Bridge St, but around the wider Nelson area.

A high profile road policing operation will also be under way focusing on rural roads.

"Anything to do with controlling the way alcohol is sold and consumed in the community has got to be a good thing.

"The negative effects are seen right across the government sector; this is our part in solving that problem.

"We are not the fun police but it is our business to make sure everyone stays safe this summer."

Tasman district road policing manager Inspector Jenni Richardson said there was traditionally an increase in traffic in the lead-up to Christmas.

There was also a spike in social functions.

While the operation would be soaking up a lot of resources, the long term cost of alcohol offending was more taxing on the economy, she said.

"It is not a police problem, it is a community problem."

About 80 staff will be patrolling across the Tasman police district.

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- The Nelson Mail

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