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Alcohol Accord to target inner city violent crime

Alcohol Accord to target inner city crime and violence

Christchurch’s Central City Bars will introduce a one-way door policy from this Thursday (5 October). This is aimed at reducing alcohol-related crime and violence in the inner city.

A significant part of the problem is the large number of young drinkers who are consuming alcohol at home and then heading to town.

More than 45 bars in the central business district have formed an Alcohol Accord, in partnership with the Christchurch City Council, New Zealand Police, Community and Public Health, a division of the Canterbury District Health Board, and HANZ.

The first initiative under the Accord is the one-way door policy. From 4am, no new patrons will be admitted to any of these bars and patrons who leave the premises will not be re-admitted.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says the measure is designed to stop the migration of alcohol-affected individuals and groups between bars and areas within the central city.

“Alcohol, and the policing of it, had been identified as a significant cause of crime and injury in the Central Business District, resulting in disproportionately high rates of such offending as common assaults, sexual assaults, wilful damage, property offences and other criminal and antisocial behaviour.”

He said the Accord partners were committed to finding on-going solutions to reduce inner city crime and violence, and create a safe and prosperous night-time economy.

Similar Accords operate on Australia’s Gold Coast where alcohol-related offences have dropped by 17 per cent and sexual offences by 12 per cent.

Peter Morrison, Chairman of the Central Business District Alcohol Accord Management Committee, said licensees have welcomed the opportunity to work with the Police, Community and Public Health, HANZ and Christchurch City Council to find ways to reduce alcohol abuse and associated disorders in the central business district.

“The Alcohol Accord is a unique partnership; one that is valued by all groups involved.

“Through consultation and collaboration, the management committee has created a situation where everyone is focused on achieving the same goal – a safer place for residents, visitors and tourists to enjoy Christchurch’s warm hospitality without any fear.”

Canterbury District Police Commander Superintendent Sandra Manderson said the Police alone do not have the responsibility to reduce violence and crime in Christchurch. “The Alcohol Accord recognises this joint responsibility.

“From a policing perspective we see the Accord as part of an overall plan to reduce crime, and especially violence, in Christchurch.

She said the Police want Christchurch to be a lively, vibrant city with a real heart, day and night. This Accord will play an important role in helping to reduce violence and crime.

“The Police will have a strong presence in the central city over the key times of Friday and Saturday nights through to Sunday morning.

“You will notice a greater inner city presence focussing on disorder and liquor licensing issues.”

Garry Moore said the message with the Accord was simple: to enjoy the hospitality on offer in Christchurch’s central city in a positive, safe environment – Get in before 4.

ENDS

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