Police promise crackdown on boozy behaviour at Sevens

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Police have fired a shot across the bow of rugby sevens revellers in Wellington this weekend, promising a crackdown on bad behaviour.

The Wellington leg of the international sevens series starts on Friday afternoon, culminating in the playoff matches on Saturday night.

The annual event generates a party atmosphere at Westpac Stadium and throughout the city, with large numbers of revellers donning costumes and drinking before, during and after the games.

However, the event has also caused headaches for police with close to 30 people arrested at the event in each of the past two years and scores more while drinking in the city afterwards.

Wellington police operations commander, Inspector Simon Perry, today promised a strong police presence throughout the city and said any lawlessness would be swiftly dealt with.

He said police reinforcements had been brought in from Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Palmerston North and about 120 officers would be policing events in the capital over the long weekend.

"Alcohol fuelled disorder and stupid behaviour will not be tolerated at Westpac Stadium or elsewhere in the city.

"We want everyone to get on side and enjoy themselves while respecting the rights of people around them to have a great safe time too," he said.

"The police message is simple. Don't drink too much alcohol. Intoxicated people get into trouble by provoking fights, or they become vulnerable as crime victims."

He made a special plea to young women to stick together and not get separated from their group, especially if they were drinking.

Mr Perry reminded those attending events of a 24-hour public liquor ban in the city, apart from designated licensed areas.

- NZPA

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