Police unite to target alcohol issues

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Southern police are joining forces this weekend in a bid to raise awareness about alcohol and prevent alcohol-related crimes.

Police in Southland and Otago are banding together under Operation Unite, over the weekend to enforce law in relation to alcohol-related offending.

Police were also hoping to to challenge the negative impacts that alcohol had on the community.

Southern District Commander Superintendent Andrew Coster said alcohol was a major contributing factor for crime in the Southern District.

“Operation Unite is an opportunity for us to bring to the forefront the need for all of us in our communities to do our bit to reduce alcohol-related harm.”

It was also a good time to teach the public about the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act which was coming into effect next Thursday, he said.

Police will be targeting crime and increasing awareness by providing high visibility foot and vehicle patrol, road checkpoints, compliance checks on licensed premises, enforcement of liquor bans and targeting of alcohol offences in public places.

The new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act aimed to improve New Zealand’s drinking culture and reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking.

It would also affect the way alcohol was sold, supplied and consumed.

Some of the changes included a new national maximum trading hours for on and off licences, new rules around using or lending fake ID and supplying alcohol to under-18s and alcohol infringement offence notices as a new enforcement option.

Operation Unite would be running from 6pm to 6am over Friday and Saturday night.

By RUBY HARFIELD