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Be safe and responsible - Operation Unite's plea

Be safe and responsible - Operation Unite's plea

Make tonight one to remember for the right reasons, and not one you, your family and friends will forget or regret. That's the Operation Unite message from police across New Zealand and Australia as part of tonight's focus on alcohol related harm and offending.

Police are running checkpoints, spot licensing checks at hotels, bars, clubs and outlets where alcohol is sold, and targeting drunken behaviour wherever it occurs.

Additional staff have been rostered on duty giving a very visible presence in alcohol risk areas. Officers will be accompanied by partner agencies including Maori Wardens, Community Patrols, council licensing officers, health and ALAC representatives.

"Operation Unite's aim is to raise people's awareness of the negative impacts of alcohol misuse, and to encourage people to have a safe, enjoyable and responsible time as we head into the holiday season," said Acting Detective Superintendent Ross Grantham, Crime Manager, Police National Headquarters.

"We're not against people having fun, but we are asking everyone to step up and take personal responsibility for themselves and their friends when it comes to drinking alcohol.

"It's not fun for police and other emergency services to pick up people killed or injured in crashes, violent assaults or situations where judgement is impaired by too much booze," he said.

"It's not fun telling families that a loved one won't be coming home tonight; and it's not fun for hospital emergency staff coping with alcohol impaired patients or the innocent victims of someone else's drunken behaviour.

"We strongly urge people to think about their attitudes to alcohol; to take some responsibility for their lives and those of others. We don't want people to end up in a police cell or hospital bed, or not coming home at all."

This is the third time that police in Australia and New Zealand have run Operation Unite targeting alcohol harm. Similar operations were run this time last year and again in September. The September operation in this country saw:

• 800 brief alcohol intervention packs issued
• 31,777 breath tests administered of which 1 percent or 200 people failed
• 472 other offences detected
• 765 hotel compliance checks undertaken
• 268 controlled purchase operations to check point of sale to under age drinkers.

Alcohol accounts for:
• one third of police apprehensions
• half of the recorded serious violent crime
• one in four traffic offences
• one in five traffic crashes
• one in three family violence offences
• and over 300 alcohol related offences are recorded every day.

To make a difference:

• think about your behaviour and that of your friends
• make this weekend one to remember and not regret or forget
• arrange a sober driver or use alternative transport
• be a responsible host.

Ends

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