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Play it safe this O-Week urge Hamilton Police

Play it safe this O-Week urge Hamilton Police

Monday, 24 February 2014 - 11:55am

National News

Orientation Week, it's all about getting out there and sharing new experiences and Police say by taking a commonsense approach, copping a fine or spending time in a cell need not be one of them.

Officer in charge of the Hamilton Tactical Support Team (TST), Sergeant Jason McKay, said his unit's main role is policing the City's entertainment precinct.

"Our unit was previously known as Team Policing but TST is a more appropriate reflection of our role in preventing people getting into trouble in the CBD.

"Too often we encounter people who are intoxicated, have become separated from their friends or got themselves in situations they could have easily avoided."

Over consumption of alcohol was often a contributing factor in these incidents and while Police work closely with bar managers issues are often created before people make their way into town.

"A lot of people take part in what we call "front loading" meaning they drink heavily before coming into town. When we encounter them they often claim ignorance of the 24 hour liquor ban that applies in  Hamilton's CBD, or the ban in the rest of the City that applies after 10pm."

"Carrying opened or unopened vessels in your vehicle is also a breach of the liquor ban. We often come across people who have drinks in their car and even if they are unopened they breach the ban as they are not transporting it from A to B.
"Instead, the often young offenders park up in town with plans to drink in the car-parks or come back and forth from the bars to top up. Most mistakenly think it is fine to have it in their vehicles but they risk arrest or a $250 fine from a resulting Alcohol Infringement Offence Notice."

Mr McKay said with many of those out enjoying O-Week activities experiencing their first time away from home and the scrutiny of parents, there is an understandable desire to experiment.

"Experimentation is all part of life's experience, what we as Police want people to do is to take steps to ensure it's an enjoyable, not regrettable one.

"To keep people safe Police carry out a zero tolerance approach to alcohol/disorder offending in CBD to prevent people becoming victims from not only others but also their own impaired judgement."

New alcohol laws introduced under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, meant people who overindulge with alcohol will find it hard to gain entry to bars.

"The new guidelines on intoxication mean drunks will be denied entry or removed from bars and we will be focusing on policing licensed premises to ensure people are drinking responsibly and if they aren't they will be removed and processed for intoxication.

"We ask that those heading out to have a good time do so, but keep that last $20 for a taxi home and watch your drinks. And, if one thing leads to another, ensure you have consent, if a person can't stand up, if they are slurring their words or if they can't say yes- then the answer is no."


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