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Changes to alcohol laws have immediate effect

Changes to alcohol laws have immediate effect

Police Minister Anne Tolley says that Police reported significantly fewer serious assaults and public disorder offences after changes to alcohol laws came into full effect at the end of last year.

Maximum trading hours, new infringement offences and new enforcement powers for Police were introduced on 18 December 2013, following the full implementation of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

In the ten weeks following the Act coming into force (19 December 2013 to 26 February 2014) Police say there were 1258 fewer serious assaults causing injury, public place violence and disorder offences between 8pm and 8am than for the same period in the previous year, a drop of 22 per cent.

In Central Wellington there was a 31 per cent fall in these offences and in Central Auckland an 11 per cent drop.

There was a 24 per cent fall in alcohol-related offences between 4 am and 6 am during the ten-week timeframe, with 91 fewer crimes compared to the previous year.

“These statistics are extremely heartening and it’s possible that lives have been saved by the law changes,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Police say that the biggest impact on reducing crime, assaults and alcohol-related harm has come from the maximum trading hours, which reduce the availability of alcohol, especially at times when people who have already had a lot to drink might buy more.

“This means our towns and city centres are safer, and that New Zealanders are more likely to be able to enjoy a night out without the risk of being caught up in disorder.

“It also means our young people are safer in the early hours of the morning when alcohol-fuelled violence can cause terrible harm.

“Crime prevention strategies had already seen these offences falling. The changes to the Act have contributed to further significant success and combined with a 20.2 per cent drop in overall crime in the past four years it shows our streets and communities are safer.”
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