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Poor Performance from Licensed Premises in the Far North

Poor Performance from Licensed Premises in the Far North

NZ Police and the Northland District Health Board are very disappointed with the results of an alcohol controlled purchase operation, conducted in licensed premises in the Far North region on Saturday, 15th February 2014.

The controlled purchase operation targeted licensed premises in the Ahipara, Kaitaia, Awanui and Houhora areas.

The operation carried out by members of the Far North Alcohol Team (FNAT)*, tested the compliance of selling alcohol to minors (under the supervision of NZ
Police), Ten premises were tested consisting of nine off-licensed premises and one on-licensed premise.

Four of the licensed premises sold alcohol to the underage minors (youth under 18 years).

Far North Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer Senior Constable Graeme Wright says the result was extremely disappointing, “This operation highlights how easily our youth are able to access alcohol from licensed premises in this region.

"Licensees are required to ensure they don't sell alcohol to our kids. That is why we have a system of licenses. How hard is it to stop selling to kids? Well it's real easy, no photo identification - no sale. It is that simple”

The fallout from youth accessing alcohol is well documented. As a community we
need to have confidence that license holders will not sell alcohol to our youth.

The new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 came into full force on 18th December, 2013 and it now means that premises and managers/licensee's of those premises are subject to three strikes (offences) and then they can lose their licenses. Each offence could result in short term suspensions of their licenses, one to seven days for the premises and 30 days for the managers, and/or fines not more than $10,000 for managers and $2,000 for the seller.

Mr Wright adds, “The increased availability of cheap and/or discounted alcohol available from multiple sources and close to home has attributed in rises in violence in the home and in public places.

We all need to look at what we are doing in our own homes when consuming alcohol.

Family members, supplying alcohol to our youth without supervision should also be addressed, as this is also a major factor in the problems we have in our communities.

We will continue to test the licensed premises, but people in our communities need to look at what they are doing in their homes as well. Youth and alcohol is a big problem, but young people are by no means the only people abusing alcohol as we see the home based drinking/parties that impact on domestic and violence incidents in our communities continue to grow”.

Controlled purchase operations are part of an ongoing programme to assess compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 to ensure young people
under the age of 18 are not supplied with alcohol.

In accordance with the Act, applications for suspension or cancellation of the license and manager’s certificate for each premise that failed the CPO will be made to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.

Operation statistics:

CPO

Off and on licensed premises: 10 premises checked resulted in four sales Far North Alcohol Team (FNAT) - Staff from the Northland District Health Board Public Health Unit, NZ Police and Far North District Council are tasked with
monitoring and enforcing the requirements under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

-Ends-

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