Arrests at Christmas party brawl

A woman was arrested for allegedly biting another woman’s fingernail off during a brawl at a work Christmas party.

It is the season to be jolly, but police are urging people to be responsible at festive functions after seeing a spike in alcohol-related arrests over the weekend.

The Christmas drinks clash between co-workers and family members happened at an automotive shop on Te Rapa Rd in Hamilton.

Hamilton Police senior sergeant Freda Grace said officers and a police dog were called to the scene, which she described as "the worst recent example" of drunken behaviour. 

"One woman was arrested for assault after she allegedly bit off another woman's fingernail while further enquiries [are] to be conducted in relation to further charges for other party goers."

Ms Grace said the incident highlighted an issue that had become more serious over the past two weeks.

She said more mature crowds were coming into the city’s bars in a "belligerent manner" after pre-loading at company work parties.

"What we've been finding is that while responsible partygoers have a few drinks and then go home either with a safe driver or in a cab, a minority want to carry on long after they should have called it quits."

On average, Hamilton police arrest 24-28 people in the city on Friday and Saturday nights, but on Saturday night alone they arrested 21 people.

In one incident about 2:50am on Sunday, four men and three women were arrested following a fight at a bar.

"Each of the seven involved had been drinking and when you think about it, if one person in the group had taken responsibility and said they had had enough, this group wouldn't be facing charges this Christmas."

Police advised providing food and non-alcoholic drinks at work functions and organising a safe way for people to get home.

Waikato Times