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Wellington Police Prepare For NZI Sevens Influx

Wellington Police Prepare For NZI Sevens Influx

New Zealand Police

28 January 2008

People who use next week's NZI Sevens festivities in Wellington as an excuse to drink too much and disrupt the enjoyment and safety of others can expect a firm response from Wellington Police.

"Alcohol fuelled disorder will not be tolerated, either at Westpac Stadium or elsewhere in the city," warns Inspector Kevin Riordan, Wellington Police operations commander for the 1 and 2 February event.

Police have been working closely with stadium, rugby union and city council officials to ensure that the event is enjoyable for everyone, and that Wellington maintains its reputation as a lively, fun and safe city. Steps being taken include:

• a public liquor ban which runs from 5pm to 8am on both Friday and Saturday during the event

• security officers searching bags to ensure alcohol isn't carried into Westpac Stadium

• issuing two-year trespass orders from the stadium to anyone caught smuggling alcohol into the event

• police evicting intoxicated people from the stadium

• arresting those who cause disorder including fights or unruly behaviour - either at the stadium or elsewhere in the city

• enforcing a stadium dress code which includes leaving weapons such as imitation swords or firearms at home

• closing Courtenay Place between Taranaki Street and Cambridge Terrace to traffic on Saturday night to create a pedestrian only zone. Detours will be signposted.

"We do want fans to enjoy themselves, but to do so safely and without causing problems for others," Inspector Riordan said. "Alcohol related issues are a concern especially after two long hot days in the sun.

"We encourage people to drink plenty of water, to moderate their alcohol intake and to look after their mates. Take your friends home or back to their hotel if they have had too much to drink, otherwise they could be spending the night at our place," he said.

"We're not the fashion police but please don't carry realistic looking weapons as part of your costume. Imitation toy guns can be mistaken for the real thing and create unnecessary security issues."

Inspector Riordan said about 100 police are working on the police operation for the Sevens, including drafting in some extra staff from Eastern and Central Police Districts (Hawkes Bay/Gisborne and Palmerston North). This is in addition to the usual 24 x 7 rostered shifts who will remain free to respond to normal policing calls for service.

Last year police made 25 arrests and evicted close to 100 people from the Stadium.

ENDS


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