Queenstown is in a league of its own when it comes to drunken crime, says a police chief.

Crime in the resort town was "almost exclusively" alcohol related, Senior Sergeant John Fookes said.

Drunk offenders were committing crimes at a rate disproportionate to the rest of the country.

Most alcohol-related harm and offending took place in the central business area late at night and in the early hours of the morning, with visitors well-represented, he told the Southland Times.

Most offenders were men under 30, and were a range of nationalities, he said.

Tourists, from New Zealand and overseas, dropped their inhibitions when they were on holiday, committing crimes they would not at home, Mr Fookes said.

"There's no rocket science in this, if you go out and get drunk you're at a much higher risk of committing or becoming the victim of offences.

"The availability of alcohol and the consumption of alcohol correlates, there's a link between that and what we see out the other end."

Queenstown Lakes District Council is waiting on a Law Commission report into the sale and consumption of alcohol before a possible change to liquor licensing laws, including hours of operation.

- NZPA