Students celebrate end of lectures
Dozens arrested amid revelryCAROLINE KING
LATEST: Students dressed as Charlie Chaplin, Superman, a genie and Avatar are among those locked up by police in Christchurch today as students celebrate the end of lectures for the year.
Canterbury University's annual Tea Party and Lincoln University's Garden Party started this morning and will continue through the night.
Senior Sergeant Peter Laloli said by 2pm about 40 people were arrested for breaking the liquor ban.
Most would be given a pre-charge warning and would not have to appear in court, he said.
Laloli said several others were arrested for drunken behavior.
"There were several parties this morning before the event with students pre-loading, but police were well aware of those addresses and had a presence. 99.9 per cent of people were great in abiding by the liquor ban."
The University of Canterbury Students' Association president Erin Jackson said there was a "relaxed and positive" atmosphere at the event.
"It's really great. Everyone is in a really good mood. The local cops have been through and were very happy with how it's going."
Jackson said it was "disappointing" to hear 40 people had been arrested for breaching the liquor ban.
"I think it's important to distinguish between that and people being arrested for disorderly behaviour. We did our best to tell people before the event to take note of the liquor ban and obey it.
"We think the problem was this morning before the event a lot of people go from flat to flat and that's where this has occurred," she said.
"It is disappointing to hear students have been arrested but there have been no problems at the actual event."
Police had been in contact with the UCSA during the planning stages of the R18 event and were happy with the measures it put in place, Laloli said.
"The UCSA were great in reminding people of the liquor ban."
Laloli said people were beginning to leave the party and were walking down Riccarton Rd.
"99.9 per cent are drinking energy drinks, not alcohol. But those few that are breaking the liquor ban will be dealt with."
He said several people were also being held for being held by police for "detoxification" because they were too drunk.
The Tea Party event finishes at about 5.30pm, but after parties were expected to continue into the evening.
The Lincoln Garden Party had finished and hundreds of students had boarded buses to come into Christchurch, a police spokeswoman said.
Police said they were preparing to deal with thousands of drunk university students.
Laloli said there would be an overt, as well as a covert, police presence during the day, and additional police patrols in Riccarton tonight.
A Selwyn police spokesman said most of the district's police staff would monitor the Lincoln event.
He said with student drinking games such as "eight [drinks] before eight [am]", police were expecting minor disorder later in the day.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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