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Blue team keeping rugby fans safe

Blue team keeping rugby fans safe

As rugby fans shortly begin gathering in lounges, clubs and pubs to cheer on the men in black, a team of blue will be working to make sure everyone has a good time safely.

With the 2015 Rugby World Cup officially kicking off tomorrow (Saturday 19th NZDT), Police across the country will be launching operations focused on making sure that fans enjoy the tournament responsibly – and that they are around to enjoy the next one in four years' time.

This will include a range of Policing activities on the roads and ongoing work with licensed premises hosting match coverage and other organisations to help ensure an enjoyable tournament.

"While we want everyone to get into the spirit of the cup and have fun supporting the All Blacks, we don't want people to overdo it and end up doing something they regret later on," says National Manager Road Policing, Superintendent Steve Greally.

"We also want to make sure that those wanting to celebrate the tournament with a few drinks do so safely, without ruining it for themselves or others – and that everyone is still around in four years' time to hopefully see New Zealand defend the next world cup title.

"But with many of the games being played in the early hours of the morning, we're reminding those out socialising to think very carefully about their alcohol and fatigue levels if driving – or better still, to make other arrangements for getting home.
"There will be a highly visible police presence across the country with patrols and checkpoints in place throughout the tournament.

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This means drivers can expect to be stopped and breath-tested anywhere, any time, with ongoing enforcement of the zero alcohol limit for under-20s and enforcement of the lowered alcohol limit for adult drivers.

"Police will also be paying particular attention to rugby clubs, pubs and venues hosting coverage of matches to ensure that everyone gets home and to work safely."

In keeping with the sporting theme, Mr Greally says Police will also be issuing 'yellow cards' to drivers ticketed for any offences that attract demerit points.

"The message is simple – we want to remind those drivers whose behaviour has resulted in demerit points that they risk getting 'sidelined' if they keep driving in a way that puts others at risk, which can eventually see their license suspended."
In addition to targeted road policing activities, Acting Assistant Commissioner Prevention, Superintendent Dave Trappitt, says Police are working with a range of licensed premises and organisations to ensure hosts act responsibly and patrons enjoy themselves safely.
"The goal is to reduce alcohol-related harm and make sure the environment is safe for everyone.

As well as various drink-drive operations, we'll be focusing on other prevention activities in the lead up to and during the event, such as high visibility patrols in hospitality areas and working with licensees to ensure host responsibility.

"While we want people to enjoy themselves, we know that alcohol is a major contributor to crime and victimisation, with a significant proportion of all recorded offences committed after the offender has been drinking alcohol," Mr Trappitt says.
"But we can't do it alone.

The message is simple: if you're out drinking, enjoy yourself, but please look after yourself and your mates and make the right plans to get home safely.

That way we can all continue to enjoy the rugby."


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