Richard Moore: Slow drunks out for mischief

4 comments


I'm liking the sound of our top cop's move to deal with the problem of drunken bar patrons causing trouble in our inner city early into the morning hours.

Inspector Clifford Paxton wants to take the very sensible step of stopping people bar hopping after midnight.

Inspector Paxton is promoting a one-way regime that means night owls can't go from one bar to another after that hour. He also recommends a 2am closing for establishments in the city and a 1am shut-doors policy in Mount Maunganui.

These measures he reckons will reduce disorderly behaviour on Friday and Saturday nights. For too many years we have seen the problems caused by the late drinking hours along The Strand and in the inner city.

Drunkenness, fights and serious bashings.

While it may only be a minority that are out for trouble - they create mayhem.

These people get boozed up at home or in public areas before going to bars - to avoid paying the hefty prices being charged there - and from there it is downhill. Many are young and don't handle the booze as well as older patrons, meaning they react violently to perceived slights.

Most of the safety issues arise when people are walking between establishments or come across people hanging around outside looking for trouble.

These troublemakers become violent and suddenly an ambulance is needed to cart someone to hospital.

As you would expect, the bar owners are kicking up a stink over the proposals, saying it would have a serious effect upon them. They play the tourist card saying visitors to our city want to be able to eat and drink into the early hours and Tauranga isn't just a city of oldies so they have to cater for young people as well.

Well, the last thing any tourist wants is to be stuck in the middle of an alcohol-created melee, or watch as local yokels cause trouble. It doesn't do Tauranga's image any good at all.

I also have to question if tourists want such late drinking anyway.

And one has to ask if the bars are actually living up to their responsibilities by not serving already intoxicated people. They will say "of course" and I would have to ask, well, why is there such a problem then?

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of figures as to when they make the most money. Is it before midnight or after? When people are starting out on an evening, or when they've already put away so much it's easy to sell them more booze?

And I'd love to know the costs of police having to have a heavier presence in the areas because The Strand is a proven trouble ground.

In addition, do the bar owners pay anything for the police presence - which they should - as it is their booze sales that can exacerbate the troubles.

I'm happy to go out on patrol with our lads and lassies in blue and let you know what really happens on our streets in the early hours.


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I know there are some intelligent and aware sportsmen and women in the world - but basketballer Dennis Rodman doesn't seem to be one of them.

The hoops star, who stands at 1.98 metres - head and shoulders above most people - is no mental giant.

Together with his Harlem Globetrotter co-stars, Rodman accepted an invitation from Kim Jon-Un, glorious leader of the Democratic Republic of Starving Korea, to visit the northern part of the Korean Peninsula and put on some exhibition games.

At a state banquet Rodman got to do two things that most North Koreans cannot - chat with the leader ... and put edible food into his mouth.

Of course it was a diplomatic coup for Un and his cronies - who have been shunned by normal sections of the world for their nuclear testing, missile firing and people abusing ways.

After the feast of publicity shots Rodman was interviewed about Un. The star burbled on about him with clearly no knowledge of him or the history of North Korea.

According to Rodman, Un was "a great leader, not liked but loved by his people".

No surprise there Denis, old sock. If they don't worship him they have nasty things happen to them.

And I did shrink with embarrassment when Denis the Brain spoke in the rapt, breathless voice usually reserved for blonde trophies and said something along the lines of "And you know what ... his father was a leader [Kim Jong-Il] and his grandfather [Kim Il-Sung] a leader too."

Really, Dennis? Mebbe you should stick to basketball.

richard@richardmoore.com

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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