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have yourself a problem-free party

On the 4th day of Christmas . . . have yourself a problem-free party

We all love a party and what better excuse than Christmas and New Year; but how do you maximise the fun and minimise the trouble? Horror stories in the media about gatecrashers drummed up through mobile phone texts and the internet would understandably make some hosts think twice.

Some areas in New Zealand have introduced police party registers. The idea is that organisers register their event with the police. They in turn get tips and tactics about how to control the party, such as information about trespass, behaviour offences, noise control and so on. Contact is made with the organiser before the event and again during the evening to check all is well, and patrol officers are made aware, giving them the option to do the occasional discreet drive-by. If you are holding a party in Palmerston North of Wanganui, both these policing areas hold a register so give them a call. (Palmerston North 06 351 3600, Wanganui 06 349 0600).

Hosting a party • Ensure that there is adult supervision and a plan in place in the event of gatecrashers or disorder. • Only invite people you know will be sensible and not cause trouble. • Be a responsible host and provide plenty of snacks or food and non-alcoholic drinks. • Arrange for friends to stay over or have a means of getting home safely. • Be a good neighbour and let them know of your party intentions. • If a party is starting to get out of hand call the police before it escalates. • Keep an eye on your guests, especially those who are drinking. If someone is being sick or passes out, check on their welfare. If you can't wake someone up call for an ambulance.

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Going to a party • Plan your transport in advance. Make sure there is a sober driver or you have arrangements and money for alternative transport such as buses, taxis or dial-a-driver. • Avoid walking home alone. • If the host is happy to let you stay over consider this option. • If you are not driving still try to have a non-alcoholic drink or a glass or water with every alcoholic one to stop you getting too thirsty or too drunk. Drink plenty of water before going to bed - it will help you feel better in the morning. • If you are with a group of people look out for one another.

This advice forms part of the 12 Crime of Christmas campaign by Central District Police who wish you a very merry and safe Christmas and New Year.


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