New Years Eve an extension of Summer Policing
New Years Eve an extension of Summer Policing for Bay of Plenty Police
The Police operation to support New Years Eve in the Western Bay of Plenty Police Area, including Mt Maunganui, is an extension of the Police strategy for the wider summer policing period, says Western Bay of Plenty Police Area Commander Inspector Mike Clement.
"The focus of our strategy this summer – including over New Years Eve – is about making people feel safe and reassured on the street, beaches, roads and in their homes.
"We want people to enjoy a safe summer, and our staff will be out and about in shopping centres, on the roads and around the beaches to help make sure that is the case."
Inspector Clement says most Western Bay of Plenty Police staff will be working over the peak Christmas and New Year period, with these numbers supported by additional Police staff from around the Bay of Plenty District, as well as other Districts including Counties-Manukau and Central.
"There is no denying that this is a busy time for Police, but it is now business as usual for us – every year. We know we will have an influx of visitors, we know where many of them will be celebrating New Years Eve and we know what role our staff will play amongst that.
"We plan to be busy during this period and we have the strategy, the people and the resources in place to manage it. The main unknown for us is the weather!
"At the same time, we are just one part of a combined effort to ensure people enjoy a safe and happy festive season in the Bay of Plenty. We work alongside a number of different community partners to achieve this goal, including the Tauranga City Council, health organizations, other emergency services, community groups and volunteers.
"Their efforts ensure the Bay of Plenty is a safe and friendly place to celebrate summer and the festive season for everyone, with a wide range of activities and events specifically targeted at families and children."
Inspector Clement says there are a number of key focuses for Police over the festive season, including New Years Eve and New Years Day. These include policing Bay of Plenty roads, reducing alcohol-related harm and family violence, as well as continuing to provide a service in other areas.
"Alcohol is still a factor in more than a third of recorded offences and a third of all Police calls for service. Unfortunately, it becomes an even bigger issue over the summer period, and particularly during the festive season.
"We will actively police alcohol-related offences in order to manage issues early in the day or evening, to prevent major problems, crime and disorder later. We don't make any apologies for taking a hard line in this area if it means we can reduce the impact.
"We have a low tolerance approach to disorder and breach of liquor ban and we will take some level of positive action. If you are in the Bay of Plenty to celebrate Christmas and New Year, make sure you know where the liquor ban areas are before you get here."
He says liquor ban maps area available on the Tauranga City Council website or in the Summer Passport, as well as the Bay of Plenty Safer Summers Facebook page.
Inspector Clement urges people to allow extra time to travel to the Bay of Plenty over Christmas and New Year.
"The Bay of Plenty is an attractive place to visit, and the region sees a large number of visitors over the summer period. However, this also means more people on the roads.
"Our state highways and roads in and around the Bay of Plenty will be congested before, during and after Christmas and New Year, so please take your time, be patient and make sure you actually get to your destination."
Inspector Clement says Police will have a high visibility out on the region's roads and highways, and every driver stopped will be breath-tested.
Inspector Clement says all Western Bay of Plenty Police Stations will be open during the festive season, but he encourages members of the public to call 111 immediately if they are concerned at any time – be it over suspicious activity, dangerous driving, or disorderly behaviour.
"Do not hesitate to contact the Police, either by dialling 111 or by calling the local Police station direct. If you see something, please say something."