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Show Week in Christchurch

Title: Show week 7 14 November 2009

While most of New Zealand and Australia have enjoyed the Melbourne Cup, for Cantabrians, it is only the beginning of the social build up to Christmas. Next week is Show Week in Christchurch with the A and P Show- and the races and trots.

Show week is usually synonymous with hot, dry North West winds, crowds and alcohol. It also marks the start of what is almost a continuum of social events leading up to Christmas and the New Year. For some it is a time of excess and for others it highlights the things that they don’t have. This can lead to the best and worst of human behaviours.

Senior Sergeant Gordon Spite of the Christchurch Central Beat Section, says the central city is the focus for many events and social gatherings over this time and it is common to see significant numbers of people from across Canterbury coming to town, at night especially, who may otherwise not visit.

"My staff work very hard to promote simple and reasonable expectations on peoples’ behaviour when they are in town. This is why they take a firm line on low level offending. It is an accepted fact that dealing decisively with minor behaviour offences leads to significantly fewer serious crimes being committed.

"Remember the liquor ban is in place in the central city 24 hours 7 days a week and it has been demonstrated that warnings for breaches don’t work. We want people to have a drink in a licensed bar not the street."

With this in mind it is timely to remind people to use common sense when in town - especially if they have had a few drinks. Avoid situations where you are isolated from friends and keep an eye on your alcohol consumption, he says.

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"Being drunk in town is not sexy and my staff have a low tolerance towards bad behaviour that emanates from excessive drinking.

"Time and again we see victims of assaults who have had too much to drink and are simply an easy target for thuggery. Much is being said at the moment about responsibility in terms of alcohol consumption and I would make the comment that this applies equally to potential victims. Nobody deserves to be assaulted simply as a result of a verbal altercation but to quote a well known comedian “many were talking when they should have been listening”.

It is quite possible to come into the central city and have a really good night without encountering any problems at all and this is the case with nearly everyone who visits. As is often the case, it is only a few who give us cause for concern.

Starting this week we have an increased number of Police walking the beat at night and these numbers are supplemented by the staff manning the crime prevention cameras, safe city officers and security staff employed by many of the bars who all act as extra eyes and ears for us.

If you see the Police about, say `hello' and above all have a safe and enjoyable time in town."

Senior Sergeant Gordon Spite
Officer in Charge: Beat Section


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