Police hope for new rules to fight booze crime

Stricter guidelines for Christchurch bars, bottle stores and other outlets would give police a significant weapon to crack down on alcohol-related crime, a top officer says.

The Christchurch City Council is considering whether to fast-track a new local alcohol policy before October's local body elections.

The policy is being revised after Parliament passed legislation giving councils greater powers over the conditions for liquor licences.

The changes allow councils to regulate the opening hours and location of liquor outlets, as well as impose one-way door restrictions on late-night access to bars.

Acting Inspector Glenn Nalder said police were working closely with the council on the policy.

He was not surprised by preliminary figures from a council survey showing that 58 per cent of residents felt there were too many liquor stores in the city, and 78 per cent believed there were too many convenience stores that sold alcohol.

"That does tend to reflect what we hear from the community around their concerns about alcohol, so it's certainly no surprise to us."

Nalder said a new policy would be "potentially one of our biggest crime-prevention tools for some time" because of the restrictions that could be put in place.

"There are a whole lot of tools there that potentially can significantly affect when alcohol is consumed in the city and where it is consumed."

The Press