Police urge restraint as silly season begins


Police are urging people to be responsible at holiday season work parties after a woman bit off another woman's fingernail at a Christmas drinks function in Hamilton.


The last two weeks have been busy for Waikato police, who say party revellers at this time of year can turn quickly from happy to "ugly".


The "worst example" of this was last weekend when police attended a brawl at an automotive store on Te Rapa Rd following company Christmas drinks.


"One woman was arrested for assault after she allegedly bit off another woman's fingernail while further enquiries to be conducted in relation to further charges for other party goers," said senior sergeant Freda Grace.


Grace said police have been having problems with more "mature crowds" heading into town after drinking at work functions, often "with the belief that because they are mid to high income earners, this gives them more rights than young people in terms of the liquor ban".


"What we've been finding is that while responsible partygoers have a few drinks and then go home either with a safe driver or in a cab, a minority want to carry on long after they should have called it quits," she said.


She said police usually arrest about 24-28 people over a weekend, but last weekend had to deal with many more offenders who were much more intoxicated.


Police said people holding functions should make sure they have food and non-alcoholic drinks available.


"Another is that instead of spending social club funds solely on alcohol, consider funding entertainment or a safe way for everyone to get home," said Grace.


"That way people will stay at your function longer and then arrive home in one piece - ready to resume work in the New Year instead of managers having to replace a friend or workmate because of an avoidable tragedy."

- Hamilton News

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