Police in New Zealand and Australia are cracking down on alcohol related crime this weekend in the first joint operation between the two countries.

Police commissioners from both countries met in Perth last month to launch a united stand against drunken violence.

Commissioners said they were fed up with the dangerous binge drinking culture in both countries and were planning a series of joint blitzes to crack down on alcohol-fuelled crime and antisocial behaviour.

They hope to change the culture and challenge people to take responsibility for their own conduct.

The first blitz this weekend is running tonight and tomorrow night.

Each police district across the two countries were undertaking various methods of cracking down with many targetting licensed premises, central business districts and drink drivers.

In Invercargill there will be a strong police presence in the CBD and licensed premises, with rural staff paying attention to licensed premises in towns and settlements.

Dunedin had already put a team of officers on the streets of the central city each weekend since December 4 to concentrate solely on central city violence and disorder and inner city hotels, Dunedin emergency response commander, Inspector Alastair Dickie said.

"Their brief is to apply zero tolerance to individuals or groups who are obviously looking for trouble and to take unaccompanied youths under 16 years off the streets after midnight."

Maori wardens and city safety officers would also support police.

Otago was targeting licensed premises, CBD areas and focusing on drink and drug impaired drivers.

Area commander Otago rural, Mike Cook, said drivers should expect to be breath tested at checkpoints and on remote rural roads.

In Christchurch police would be focussing on areas where most offending took place last year and were putting extra staff on the streets each night.

Inspector Bryan Buck said most of offending occurred in the inner city.

"We'll be strictly enforcing the Liquor Ban areas and continuing to monitor bars and other licensed premises for any breaches."

Area commander Inspector Derek Erasmus said inner city policing would focus on disorder and liquor related offences.

"We'll be taking a `no nonsense' approach to so called `minor offending' as we know that if we intervene at an early stage we prevent anything more serious developing."

Central district police in the North Island would be treating alcohol harm and liquor ban breaches as a priority over the festive season and running operations focusing on this over the summer, operations manager Inspector David White said.

"We expect high spirits as people take advantage of the summer festivities, but year on year there are those that take it too far, drink excessively and make very poor decisions. We won't be just standing back and letting this happen."

Alcohol-related crime costs annually costs New Zealand $1.1 billion and Australia $2.14 billion.

In New Zealand a third of crimes in 2007-2008 were carried out by a person affected by alcohol.

In serious offences, such as homicides, it was about half of cases.

In Australia alcohol caused about 3000 deaths and 65,000 hospitalisations each year, police data showed.

- NZPA