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Christchurch liquor-ban bylaw welcomed by Police and business community

22 July 2004

Christchurch’s new liquor-ban bylaw has attracted high praise from Police and the business community.

The bylaw, now in place, prohibits drinking in public places within the four avenues, and in part of South Christchurch, stretching down Colombo Street to the foot of the Port Hills. Sumner Esplanade is also an alcohol-free zone from 7pm on Thursdays until 7pm Sundays. Spencer Park is off limits to drinkers on New Year’s Eve.

Christchurch City Beat Unit senior sergeant Colin Campbell says the bylaw has been successful for the central city and he has heard no criticism of it.

“Praise has come from businesses where owners are finding much less broken glass and litter. We just aren’t finding people drunk in shop doorways like we used to. The hotels too have welcomed the ban,” he says.

One of the major reasons Police wanted the central city liquor ban to be extended to all times was the amount of alcohol related crimes being committed.

“The liquor ban now allows us to deal with problems before they get a chance to escalate.”

About 200 people have been arrested for breaching liquor bans in Christchurch since the original ban was introduced in late 2002. A $500 fine from the District Court and a charge of breaching the local bylaw can be handed down to those disregarding the liquor ban rules.

“When we have arrested people for breaching the liquor ban, generally it has only been after they have been previously warned,” senior sergeant Campbell says. “At the moment we are saying to people that if we catch you drinking again, you will be arrested.”


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