Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Drink bans target nuisance revelry

Town centres, train stations and parks covered by new controls to curb drunk and disorderly behaviour

Photo / File
Photo / File

Noisy night patrons of a student bar on Massey University's Albany campus are targets of new liquor controls for nearby suburban streets and reserves.

Auckland Council agreed to the police request for a night ban on drinking in public places in the suburb of Bushlands, near the campus and Westfield's Albany mall.

However, drinking in streets or parks is also a problem elsewhere in the region and the council regulatory and bylaws committee has agreed to extend liquor bans in public places at Warkworth, Silverdale Village and Manurewa.

From December 18, police will be able to impose instant fines of $250 for liquor-ban breaches.

Albany community police say 27 complaints were received in less than two years from Bushlands residents, mostly on Thursday nights.

Young people were drinking in off-street parking bays before walking across the road to the Ferguson Bar.

On returning, they caused nuisance to residents by playing loud music and leaving piles of bottles.

Community patrol staff say a van was even seen selling alcohol to young people at the parking bays.

The community police reported that over the past year, policing had little effect on disorderly behaviour because people they moved on came back the next week.

University communications director James Gardiner said extra security staff were put to work when complaints came. Cars coming into the campus were checked and troublemakers and drunks declined service at the bar and asked to leave.

The university believed this was working, though it had led to slightly lower numbers in the bar.

"We are happy to keep working with the local residents, council and the police and will act on complaints," said Mr Gardiner.

The council agreed to a night ban for Warkworth's Lucy Moore Memorial Park and riverfront reserves and adjoining streets and carparks in the town centre.

Residents complained of broken glass, drunkenness, late-night noise and intimidation and the police recorded 68 offences in six months in the town centre.

An all-hours ban called for by businesses in Silverdale Village was backed by Rodney police, whose report noted that during the day and night, people "become intoxicated, loud and intimidating to shoppers, passersby and shopkeepers".

An all-hours ban was agreed for parks and streets predominantly in the central area of Manurewa and Homai as well as an expansion of the Southmall town centre's controls.

The Clendon town centre and three Manurewa train stations will be controlled.

Police said all-hours controls were needed because drinking went on throughout the day in public places in Homai, Clendon and Randwick Park, where 60 to 76 per cent of crimes happened after 8pm.

Regulatory and bylaws chairman Councillor Des Morrison said: "We are supporting these requests for alcohol bans, which began as requests from the community and local boards, in efforts to manage the problems caused by alcohol consumption in public places."

Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton said the board wanted to ensure that the community was prepared for the change and up to $15,000 would be available for 150 signs on parks, walkways and footpaths.

Localised crackdown

Manurewa: All-hours ban in parks, walkways and streets in central Manurewa and Homai, Southmall and Clendon town centres and train stations of Homai, Te Mahia and Manurewa town centre.

Warkworth: Seven-day ban, 6pm-6am for town centre, including Lucy Moore Memorial Park and riverside reserve and nearby streets.

Bushlands, Albany: Seven-day ban from 9pm-6am in Bushlands Park Drive, Kanuka Way, Rimu Rise, Bushlands Park, Pigeonwood and Kanuka Reserves.

Silverdale Village: All-hours ban in Silverdale St, Agency Lane and northern grass verge of the highway.

- NZ Herald

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