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Budget 05: Enhancing liquor licensing enforcement

Budget 2005: Enhancing liquor licensing enforcement capability

Budget 2005 includes an investment of $1.88 million (GST exclusive) over the next four financial years to enhance the Police Department's ability to enforce liquor licensing laws.

The initiative, secured by Jim Anderton's Progressive Party in the coalition government's sixth budget round, is one of a number of Budget 2005 programmes designed to strength the government's campaign to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs. "Progressive's Budget 2005 initiatives include programmes to reduce the demand for drugs, such as through a further expansion of the nationwide Community Action on Drugs and Alcohol network. This initiative is related to bolstering work on targeting the supply of alcohol and other drugs," Mr Anderton said.

"Progressive wants to strengthen the Police Department's ability of help prevent alcohol-related violence and other offending. This initiative will provide for investment in additional liquor licensing officers, and beefed up administration support to these officers, in the areas of most need," the Progressive leader said.

"We believe the initiative will complement ALAC's culture change programme. Progressive knows there are no simple or quick fixes to improving our country's drinking culture. Many measures need to progress simultaneously to have the most positive effect and Progressive is promoting legislation to strengthen liquor advertising law and are also asking Parliament to consider the strong evidence in favour of raising the legal alcohol purchasing age back to twenty.

Background: Enhancing Police liquor licensing enforcement capability

This initiative will strengthen Police’s ability to prevent alcohol-related violence and other offending by investing in extra full-time liquor licensing officers, providing dedicated administrative assistance to these specialist roles, and boosting national capability to provide analysis, guidance and training in this area, especially to support the roll-out of the Alco-Link Project.

Alco-Link is a multi-year initiative to put in place a nationally consistent approach to the collection, collation and analysis of intelligence information about alcohol’s role in offending and victimisation.

The initiative responds to calls for greater investment ‘upstream’ in liquor licensing work by Police as a way of minimising ‘downstream’ problems. It strengthens Police’s ability to effectively monitor and enforce the Sale of Liquor Act in three main ways:

First, two new full-time liquor licensing officers will be put in locations where there is the greatest unmet need (for example, Queenstown has the highest per capita concentration of licensed premises nationally, but liquor licensing work is currently only able to be managed on a part-time basis, given other competing priorities in the Otago Rural Area);

Secondly, five or six non-sworn staff will be employed to support sworn licensing officers. This will enable the existing sworn staff to be freed up from low-level data management and administrative tasks in the busiest licensing teams around the country, such as in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. This part of the initiative is based on the results of a five month, ACC-funded trial using non-sworn staff to support sworn liquor licensing officers in Invercargill, Dunedin, Oamaru and Palmerston North. The trial has had encouraging results, with sworn officers in those areas able to focus more on intelligence-led operational activities and inter-agency work aimed at reducing alcohol misuse in local communities - for example, visiting premises to audit their Sale of Liquor Act compliance, advising on Host Responsibility practices and running test purchase operations to monitor compliance with laws against underage alcohol sales.

Thirdly, a new national research/policy/training adviser role will be established. This will better position Police to provide central guidance and support to the strengthened network of liquor licensing officers throughout the country. Crucially, the new position-holder will support key aspects of the Alco-Link Project, thus helping ensure the success of the initiative, and further building Police’s overall alcohol related enforcement capability.
Vote: Police 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09
(GST excl.) $0.470 $0.470 $0.470 $0.470

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