Alcohol-fuelled crime target of police campaign

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2013

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A major campaign to combat alcohol-fuelled crime is amping up in South Canterbury.

Timaru police will run the campaign for the next few weeks, coinciding with the festive period.

Mid-South Canterbury area commander Dave Gaskin said police numbers would increase over that time, giving staff more chance to visit the local bars and to focus on nabbing drink-drivers.

He said the aim was to target all offences in which alcohol is a contributing factor.

"We hope we'll catch nobody," he said, encouraging people to have fun without drinking excessively. "We'll have staff walking through bars and we'll have staff targeting drink-driving, which are our two major areas of concern over the Christmas period."

Up to 50 extra police staff were rostered to work across Christchurch last weekend, patrolling bars, clubs and alcohol ban areas, in a bid to minimise crime and crashes in the wake of Christmas parties.

Canterbury deployment manager Inspector Peter Cooper said the Friday night before Christmas was always a busy one for end of year office parties and celebrations - and it was also traditionally busy for police attending alcohol-related crimes and crashes.

"But we'd really prefer not to be dealing with disorder, fights, assaults and crashes," he said.

"Our message remains a simple one - enjoy your celebrations, but keep yourselves and your mates safe."

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- The Timaru Herald

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