Police visits in bid to cut violence

Police will increase visits to the region's high-risk family violence offenders in the coming weeks to try and curb family violence during the festive season.

Southern District area commander Inspector Lane Todd said family violence and alcohol-fuelled disorderly behaviour traditionally increased during the festive season and police had already started several operations to address the issue.

Police visited high-risk family violence offenders weekly but would increase those visits over the next few weeks, with a focus also going on possible offenders.

Last year had been the first time police had visited repeat domestic violence offenders before Christmas so it was too early to tell if the scheme was helping, he said.

Police were also taking a proactive approach to alcohol-fuelled offending and had met Invercargill Licensing Trust management to discuss prevention.

A large number of police would be working throughout the holiday period including additional staff in Riverton, Te Anau and Stewart Island.

Sergeant Phil Berryman, of Invercargill police youth services, said youths who were drinking should drink in moderation, make sure they were in a safe environment and not walk home alone if they were incapable of looking after themselves.

"You've got to consider what you're capable or incapable of, and are you able to protect yourself from other people," he said.

Sergeant Brock Davis, of Invercargill, said often offenders took advantage of people being away from homes and businesses during the festive period.

People should ensure their homes were secure, doors and windows had effective catches and locks and sensor lights were installed if possible. Keys should not be left hidden outside and vehicles, garages and garden sheds should also be secured, he said.

nicole.mcdougall@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times