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Plan before you party message from Hamilton Police

Plan before you party message from Police following Hamilton incident

Monday, 8 September 2014 - 12:07pm


With longer sunlight hours meaning more time to enjoy each others company, Hamilton Police have a message for party planners; think about who you want to attend your function before you advertise it.

Hamilton City Area Commander, Inspector Chris Bensemann, said the call comes as Police review events on Saturday night where a party spiralled out of control after an open invitation was posted on social media.

"What you had was a small gathering at a Tawa St, Melville address escalate into a large gathering which was beyond the control of the property owners that then tied up a large number of emergency services resources. An open invitation posted on social media played a significant part in this.

"As a result 14 people were arrested after our staff had to step in and close the party down at the property occupant's request. When you think about the damage done, the bottles thrown and smashed and the large number of man hours involved, the most frustrating thing about it all was it was all so avoidable."

Mr Bensemann said from a Police perspective the matter was now before the courts and the focus for his staff was preventing such incidents happening again.

"That's why we're saying by all means have social gatherings, but take steps to keep your self and your guests safe.

"Host responsibility isn't just about serving food and having non-alcoholic options available. It's about creating a safe environment so that you and the people you have invited into your home have an enjoyable, not regrettable time."

Mr Bensemann said a number of safety tips are available on the Police website for those planning to host a party and include and can be accessed via; http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/drugs-and-alcohol/hosting-party-safety-tips

They include;
• Telling Police (ask for your district Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer) your plans – they can help with crime prevention and safety advice
• Don't announce your party by way of social media or bulk texting. You could easily end up with unwanted guests.
• Plan what you will do with any gatecrashers.
• Arrange adult supervision and plan in advance what you will do in case of trouble.
• Only invite people you know will be sensible and not cause trouble.
• If any guests are going to be under 18 years old, let their parents know if you are going to serve alcohol.
• Plan what you are going to do about alcohol brought by guests.
• Tell neighbours what you are planning.
• Arrange for friends to stay over or ensure they can get home safely.
• Set a finish time and stick to

During the party;

• Provide plenty of snacks/food and non-alcoholic drinks.
• If drinking becomes excessive or starts to get out of hand, call the police before it escalates out-of-control.
• Keep an eye on your guests, especially those who are drinking. Do what you can to prevent excessive alcohol consumption - make their welfare a priority.
• Help guests get a bus, taxi or dial-a-driver if necessary.

Reviewing the information to hand regarding Saturday night's incident, Mr Bensemann said it appeared the staff involved had done an excellent job in managing what at times was a tense situation.

"A senior officer was on hand during the closing down of the party which involved Police staff from across Hamilton, our rural stations, Dog Section and Road Policing staff.

"For a certain number of the staff involved this would be the first occasion that they have faced a group of this size of such a volatile nature, with a fair proportion of them intent on harming Police and both our management and the residents of Hamilton have every reason to be proud in the way the incident was managed."


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