Christchurch night spot concerns police

By Nick Tolerton of the Canterbury Star

Lincoln Road in Addington. Photo / Geoff Sloan
Lincoln Road in Addington. Photo / Geoff Sloan

Sex in the street, drug taking, yelling and swearing, and men urinating - Lincoln Rd, Addington has become a nightmare late at night as new bars spring up in the area.

The Christchurch business area has gained six new licensed premises since the September earthquake, and a city council report spotlights growing issues there because of booze.

It came less than two weeks after Addington was named one of Lonely Planet's 12 most "hot and happening places" in its New Zealand Travel Guide.

Central police tactical co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Glenn Nalder said there had been a noticeable increase in misbehaviour in the area.

Local shopkeepers said it was not a big problem for them - apart from bottles and debris in the road some mornings - because they shut long before the bars empty.

And a resident said she moved there knowing it might be noisy, but got a lot of bottles and cups thrown into her garden "especially when the All Blacks or Canterbury win at AMI".

In the council's annual report to the Liquor Licensing Authority, liquor licensing team leader Paul Rogers said Lincoln Rd and Victoria St had morphed into late-night entertainment destinations.

"General disorder of urination in public places, side-loading, yelling and swearing, and sex/drug taking in public places has caused significant concern for nearby business and residents in both areas," he said in his report.

The council had restrictions for on-licence hours in the suburbs, but there had been a noticeable trend in such premises attempting to lengthen their hours to support the lack of late night entertainment venues in Christchurch generally.

Mr Nalder said issues around drinking in public and disorderly behaviour there were growing.

"Anecdotally, pre-earthquake the city end of Lincoln Rd was a relatively quiet area, but we have noticed a marked increase, particularly on Thursday-Friday-Saturday nights."

Some of the issues emerging at Lincoln Rd were similar to what sparked a liquor ban in Riccarton, he said. It was an option for Lincoln Rd, too.

Police were planning a blitz on booze-fuelled crime until Christmas-New Year, and this would be one of the areas targeted.

Most licensed premises were well run, but some were not, he said.

Lonely Planet says Addington is the city's "funkiest and most exciting post-earthquake neighbourhood".

- CHRISTCHURCH STAR

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