People who choose to breach Wanganui's liquor ban this festive season can expect no goodwill from police.
Sergeant Damon Evans, officer in charge of liquor licensing, says the liquor ban will be strictly enforced and anyone breaching it would face a fine of up to $20,000.
Anyone under the age of 18 caught drinking anywhere in public would face an instant $200 fine.
Mr Evans pointed out the liquor ban, as well as covering Victoria Ave and surrounding streets, had been expanded to include the Red Lion, Durie Hill Tower, Victoria Park and Parson St lookout. "The CCTV [closed-circuit television] cameras give a good coverage of the CBD [central business district] and we will be monitoring them closely over the busy season. So if you're drinking you will be seen."
Mr Evans said nine people were arrested last weekend for breaching the liquor ban
and it would be a case of "all hands on deck" for the police over summer.
"Increased policing seems to work best in terms of keeping alcohol-related crime down."
Last summer had seen lower levels of crime than usual.
"We ensured we had enough staff on duty and we were proactive about policing with a strict response. So we will be going for the same thing this year."
Those warnings also come with a reminder to people to keep themselves and their friends safe as the festive season approaches.
Mr Evans said police particularly wanted people to be aware of drinking responsibly and keeping safe while drinking.
"Summer is a very busy time for [police]. People tend to take advantage of the fine weather, getting too drunk and making poor decisions."
He said when people were out drinking they should look after one another and ensure everybody got home safely.
"If you go to another pub, don't leave your friends behind."
Mr Evans said women were particularly vulnerable when they were drinking, and should make sure they knew how they intended to get home.
They should also be wary of accepting drinks from strangers.
He said there had never been any evidence of drink spiking in Wanganui, but that didn't mean it couldn't happen.
People who were throwing parties at home should also be aware of the welfare of their guests.
"Look after your guests - provide food and non-alcoholic drinks, make sure they get home safely, or offer them a spare bed for the night."
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