Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And we thought we had troubles...

The short TV segment (Close Up - Mon 28 May) on late-night behaviour in Auckland CBD was totally depressing viewing as we watched Police dealing with the vast amount of alcohol that was out on the streets.

We should be grateful that at least we do now have Liquor Bans, and some people are learning to live with them.

I have a lot of sympathy for the Police who are supposed to enforce the bans. In remote centres like ours, on solo duty, they are not always able to be as firm as the law and the public might expect. And, as last night's reporter wryly observed, it would take an hour's work to process each offence. No wonder the Police, in a recent year, drove 22,000 offenders to their homes rather than take them into custody.

Without doubt, instant fines for breaches of a Liquor Ban will help. And, as the Lower Hutt physician said, increasing the tax on alcohol and other pricing adjustments have been shown to reduce levels of consumption. Let's do it.

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