Retailers say drinkers take the ...

By Elliot Parker

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FED UP: The entrance to Westpac Carterton. Businesses have expressed concern over drunk people urinating on their shop fronts.
FED UP: The entrance to Westpac Carterton. Businesses have expressed concern over drunk people urinating on their shop fronts.

Retailers in Carterton are fed up with drunken behaviour which results in them cleaning up a smelly mess on their shop doorsteps in the morning.

Carterton District Business Inc and High St retailers consulted with one another and have written to police to try to stop people urinating on their shop fronts.

Their exasperation follows a spate of drunken incidents.

"We would like to voice concern on what appears to be a serious problem with drunken behaviour and public urinating in the shop entranceways around Carterton after hours," chairwoman of CBDI Robyn Cherry-Campbell wrote in a letter to the Wairarapa police area commander, Brent Register.

"The manager of Westpac has to roll up her sleeves on Monday mornings to swab down the smelly entrance to the bank and the jewellers have had to put a special baffle on the front door as the urine was lifting the polyurethane by Monday morning."

Westpac Carterton manager Tania Andersen said she often has to clean up Jim Beam cans from around the corner of the bank and is sick of intimidating people hanging around who have given the bank's cleaner "a scare" a few times.

She said they had installed security cameras outside the bank to "make people think twice" about loitering and urinating on their doorstep.

The affected groups of people are calling for a stronger police presence in Carterton when the bars close.

"We understand serving additional alcohol to intoxicated people contravenes the liquor licence laws and with sizeable fines involved," she said.

"It therefore raises the question as to whether closer attention needs to be paid to such establishments who do not comply with the responsible service of alcohol."

In May police sent a letter to Carterton District Council suggesting that a liquor control bylaw should be put in place along High St which would give them the power to arrest someone on the spot for drinking in a public place.

This was after they had had problems with people "using bottles as weapons, damaging commercial property and defecating in shop doorways" at the northern end of High St.

At present there is a liquor ban in Carrington Park, allowing police to arrest drinkers on the spot, but the bylaw in the CBD only allows police to issue an infringement ticket for drinking in a public place.

Offenders can only be arrested if they fail to provide their name and address.

The council's liquor ban at Carrington Park, introduced in 2005, has been an effective measure against drinkers.

"It is understood the problems being then experienced there have been adequately addressed by that liquor ban," manager of planning Milan Hautler said in a council report.

Police said the liquor ban in central Masterton, introduced over the last 10 years, had worked well to deter drinking in public places.

"What the bylaw achieved in Masterton was that it enabled police to immediately deal with persons in possession of alcohol in the banned area by arrest."

Robyn Cherry-Campbell, who owns a kinesiology business on High St, said she was working with Carterton District Council, the police and retailers to try to find a solution for the problem.

Her business hasn't been in the firing line but she is advocating for those that have.

She said Carterton Community Patrol was looking to be involved and would focus on High St in the weekends to catch the offenders.

Wairarapa area commander Brent Register said it was partly the responsibility of bar owners to make sure people aren't drunk when they leave their premises but police would be meeting with Carterton District Council to discuss the proposed liquor ban bylaw on High St and/or further police patrols in the area.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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