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Alcohol remains biggest issue over summer period

Alcohol remains biggest issue over summer period

The biggest job for Police in the Western Bay of Plenty this summer will be trying to reduce the impact of alcohol-related harm across the community, says Western Bay of Plenty Police Area Commander, Inspector Mike Clement.

"Unfortunately, alcohol is still a factor in more than a third of recorded offences and a third of all Police calls for service. It's prevalent across all our statistics, but is a major factor in disorder, violence, family violence and road crashes causing injury and death.

"Sadly, it becomes an even bigger issue over the summer period, and particularly during the festive season, for the community and all its service agencies, including councils, Police, hospitals, iwi organisations, Government agencies and other emergency services.

"This is why reducing alcohol-related harm is a key priority for Police and our community partners.

"Alcohol related activities should be able to take place in our community with minimal risk of harm to drinkers, minors and the wider community, but unfortunately that is simply not the case in today's environment.

"Most people are able to enjoy events or a few drinks without any problem, but a growing number of people don't seem to be able to and that is where the problem lies.

"It is our job to ensure the safety of our community and we will actively police alcohol-related issues to achieve that. We don't make any apologies for taking a hard line in this area if it means we can reduce the impact."

Inspector Clement says across the Bay of Plenty Police District, Police take a "low tolerance approach" to alcohol-related disorder or breach of liquor ban.

"This means that we will take some level of positive action."

Inspector Clement says this low tolerance approach, combined with local efforts such as liquor bans, are in place for a reason – to manage issues early in the day or evening, to prevent major problems, crime and disorder later.

He says Police will continue to work alongside its partners to develop initiatives and activities to tackle alcohol-related harm, including education, liquor licensing and planning for special events.

"We have moved beyond the concept of Police "mopping up the mess" at the end of the night.

"Alcohol is a community problem and it will be solved through partnerships and with the community."

ENDS

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