Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Caution urged over underage party alcohol risks

Police and District Health Board urge caution over underage party alcohol risks


With the secondary school ball season under way, and having dealt with several problem parties recently involving underagers, Police and the Canterbury District Health Board are urging party organisers and parents to ensure that parties are safe and do not get out of hand.

Police say last year's season saw a number of callouts to alcohol-related disorder at privately organised parties and do not want to see a repeat this year.

Canterbury Police’s alcohol harm reduction manager, Senior Sergeant Gordon Spite, says Police do not endorse the privately-run, largely commercial events, but encourage organisers to notify Police of upcoming parties so that patrols can monitor the safety of partygoers.

Senior Sergeant Spite says Police are already aware of a number of parties planned for the coming weeks that are potentially of concern.

“We had major issues with disorder and intoxication at several events last year, particularly some that were held on temporary premises in rural locations. At some parties we were dealing with huge numbers of drunk young party-goers. Our concern is that these young people are putting themselves and others at extreme risk in terms of personal safety, drink-driving and road safety,” Senior Sergeant Spite says.

“That's quite a change from the situation that existed before the earthquakes. Up to 2010 most after-parties were held in central city premises and alcohol consumption was relatively limited and not available to minors on the premises. Now we are dealing with young people drinking considerable quantities of alcohol, at remote, isolated rural locations, with high levels of intoxication.”

Senior Sergeant Spite says that under new legislation underagers require express consent from their parent in order to be supplied with alcohol.

“That consent has to amount to more than an underage person turning up to a party with a note purporting to be from a parent. Party organisers are required to know that consent has been given.”

It isn’t just after parties that are concerning to Police, he says.

“We recently attended an 18th birthday party held at unlicensed commercial premises where assaults had occurred and none of the largely intoxicated organisers could tell us who was in charge.

“In these situations young people are vulnerable to becoming both offenders and victims of crime. The potential for tragedy to occur is extremely high.”

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Alistair Humphrey is equally concerned.

“The parties and events that the Police are concerned about, frequently encourage binge drinking and the results from this are that far too many underage drinkers end up in our Emergency Department,” he says.

“In fact, there are increasing numbers of 14 to 17-year olds presenting to ED with alcohol-related injuries and alcohol poisoning every year and these events contribute to that harm.”

Dr Humphrey says research shows that the earlier people start drinking, the heavier they drink and the more harm they - and others - suffer.

“As parents, we do not want the legacy of poor supervision being sexual assaults of our daughters, or our sons being assaulted or arrested. Teenagers can have a good time, just like adults, without excessive alcohol,” he says.

“Moreover, there is now good evidence that brain development in young people is affected even by moderate amounts of alcohol.”

Both Senior Sergeant Spite and Dr Humphrey warn that parents may unwittingly be exposing often quite young teenagers to very risky situations, and urge parents to become actively aware of the functions their children may be attending.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news