Press Release – New Zealand Police
Members of Bay of Plenty Police will be out in force and joining their colleagues from around New Zealand and Australia this weekend in an effort to address alcohol related harm.Look after yourself and look after your mates – Operation Unite to target alcohol related harm in BOP
Members of Bay of Plenty Police will be out in force and joining their colleagues from around New Zealand and Australia this weekend in an effort to address alcohol related harm.
Operation Unite is a joint Trans Tasman Police operation designed to highlight the issues around the misuse of alcohol and to reduce the potential for alcohol-related harm. The operation will run between 6pm and 6am on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December.
Bay of Plenty Police officers will be deploying a number of tactics this weekend, including checkpoints, licensed premises compliance checks, controlled purchase operations and high visibility in risk areas.
For the first time, Bay of Plenty Police are also running a social media campaign during Friday night’s operation, with real-time Twitter messages about Police activities and call-outs on the night. The Bay of Plenty Police Twitter account is www.twitter.com/boppolice
The Bay of Plenty District Operations Manager, Inspector Scott Fraser, says reducing alcohol-related harm is a key priority for Police, particularly coming into December and the busy summer season.
“Unfortunately alcohol remains a common factor in a wide range of offending and victimization.
“Alcohol is a factor in 31 per cent of all recorded offences and registers in all crime areas, including violence and homicide, family violence, sexual assaults, car trauma, disorder and others.”
On an average day in New Zealand, there are 49 incidents where a person is either driven home or detained in Police custody due to their intoxication level, 253 apprehensions where offenders have consumed alcohol prior to their arrest.
Inspector Fraser says a key concern for Police and other community agencies is the increasing number of young people who consume large amounts of alcohol or binge drinking.
“When young people consume large quantities of alcohol, they are more likely to become a victim or offender of crime and in just one night, their lives could potentially change forever.
“Young women are particularly vulnerable after big drinking sessions and less likely to be able to make the right decisions to keep themselves safe.
“Operation Unite isn’t about trying to stop people having a good time, it’s about trying to raise awareness of the risks around alcohol and the need to plan ahead to make good decisions.”
Inspector Fraser says New Zealand has moved beyond the concept of Police “mopping up the mess” at the end of the night.
“Alcohol is a community problem and it will be solved by everyone working in partnership together, including all Government agencies, health organizations, community groups, iwi, schools, parents, whänau and other.
“Police cannot do this alone and Operation Unite is about talking frankly about these issues, and bringing people together to help solve them.”
Inspector Fraser says this weekend’s operation also serves as a timely reminder for people heading into the festive season.
“The Bay of Plenty is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike during Christmas, New Year and the summer season. Operation Unite is a timely reminder for everyone to enjoy the festivities in moderation, observe the extended liquor ban areas, and make sure there is a sober driver to get home.”
Inspector Fraser says a key part of the operation is to raise awareness of the issues around alcohol and the need to reduce alcohol related harm.
“One of the ways we are going to be doing that this time is by using social media, in an effort to paint a realistic picture of the number and nature of alcohol-related issues that Police deal with on a Friday night.”
Inspector Fraser says he has one key message for people of all ages when it comes to alcohol:
“Please, look after yourselves and look after your mates. Make it a weekend to remember and not one to regret, or forget.”