Police use booze bus as base for quake work

Earthquake damage to Avonside Drive. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Earthquake damage to Avonside Drive. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A booze bus will be hitting the streets of Avonside in Christchurch from today, not to catch drunk drivers, but as a mobile community base for police.

Christchurch central area commander Inspector Derek Erasmus said the bus would help provide a police presence in the quake-hit suburb in the coming weeks.

"It will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns, as well as providing a visible reminder that we're there to support and help the local community," he said.

Police would also talk to residents in the area to tell them neighbourhood watch and other support services.

Extra mobile and foot patrols, including checks on empty houses, had also been put in place around other earthquake-affected areas to provide security and reassurance for residents, police said.

The increased activity comes as police and the Christchurch City Council remind motorists to slow down when driving through earthquake-affected parts of the city - or stay away if they do not need to be there.

Police report while the number of infringement notices issued in speed-restricted zones has reduced since the September earthquake, speeding drivers and "rubberneckers" are still causing concern for some residents.

Senior Sergeant Glenn Nalder, acting Canterbury road policing manager, said speed restrictions remained in place in damaged areas such as Avonside-Dallington.

"We've been maintaining an increased presence and carrying out enforcement in those areas since day one," he said.

"But we do need to remind people that road conditions may be hazardous, and the speed and volume of traffic can cause problems for local residents."

- NZHERALD STAFF

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