Publicans wanting to stop drunks entering their bars have put their door staff through extra training.
Eighteen of Timaru's bar security staff attended a recent training session, with the aim of learning how to deal with conflict. It also focused on security-related law.
Community and Public Health spokesman Shayne Broughton said Timaru, like the rest of New Zealand, tended to have a culture of people drinking heavily before going into town at midnight.
". . . often these people are showing signs of being affected by alcohol or drugs. Therefore, efficient, well-trained security staff cannot only make the duty manager's job so much easier, but also can play a critical role in reducing alcohol harm."
It is illegal for a licensed premises to have intoxicated people on the premises, or to allow anyone to become intoxicated while drinking at the establishment.
"Both the New Zealand Police and public health are interested in helping licensees to train staff in the management of patrons influenced by alcohol," Broughton said.
"The ultimate goal for all is to reduce intoxication and the harm that alcohol can cause."
Road Block Security director Ben Noble has 20 staff on his books, with up to 14 working on bar doors in Timaru.
He said intoxication was the main issue for staff. Dealing with those people could go one way or the other.
"It's a hard job because they come out of it in a good way or a bad way. They can turn around and blame [their behaviour] on us."
However, he said his staff were trained to understand that a drunk person's retaliation was against the alcohol, not the security staff.
"We do as much as we can. With intoxication, we have a step outside, sit them down and bring them water.
"My job is to be looking after [the patrons] so they get home safe."
When the person was out of control, police were called.
- The Timaru Herald