Arrests at Raggamuffin

By Kieran Campbell

Police arrested several people for their own safety because they were too drunk, during yesterday's Raggamuffin Festival in Rotorua.

While officers said they were generally "happy" with the behaviour of the 14,000 revellers at the festival, there were still 10 arrests in and around the stadium.

Most were alcohol related, including some people who were disorderly or needed "to be taken into custody for their own wellbeing due to extreme intoxication".

"It is a concern that some people seem to use these events as a chance to push the boundaries, and we will continue to give thought to how we can better achieve compliance," Rotorua area commander Inspector Bruce Horne said.

Five people were also arrested at Friday night's Raggamuffin pre-party.

Mr Horne said "the reality is that we are still dealing with a wider culture of binge drinking, and as much as we would like cultural change to occur overnight we know it takes time.

"We only have to look back at our history around drink-driving to see that it took time for a shift from acceptable to taboo.

"What we don't want is the bad behaviour of a minority to take away from the good behaviour of the majority."

Police and community partners, including Rotorua District Council, had worked hard over the years to ensure the event ran safely, Mr Horne said.

"Crowd behaviour has progressively improved over the years and most of the people are responding positively to safety messages."

- APNZ

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