Liquor shops stung

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

PO­LICE are get­ting tougher on liquor out­lets sell­ing to un­der-18s.

Auck­land crime statis­tics show liquor act breaches have al­most tripled in the year to June 30.

There were 2125 of­fences recorded, up from 762 in the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

Sergeant Wayne Kitcher of the Green­lane liquor li­cens­ing unit says po­lice are be­ing more proac­tive in do­ing checks on liquor out­lets.

“We have run a num­ber of op­er­a­tions dur­ing the year and as a re­sult, it shows what ap­pears to be more peo­ple be­ing caught.

“The more op­er­a­tions you run, the more peo­ple are caught.”

He says the in­creased po­lice fo­cus on liquor li­cens­ing is re­flected in the higher statis­tics.

“We dis­cussed what di­rec­tion we wanted to head in and came to the de­ci­sion to be more proac­tive. It’s def­i­nitely the way to bring home the mes­sage to li­censees.”

Three liquor li­cens­ing units across Auck­land have run com­bined op­er­a­tions in the past year.

Sergeant Bryce Law of the cen­tral Auck­land unit says a sting in the cen­tral city last month had dis­ap­point­ing re­sults.

Ten of the 38 premises vis­ited sold liquor to un­der­age teens and many did not check their age or ask for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“We do this quite reg­u­larly. Peo­ple should be ex­pect­ing us.”

He says of­fi­cers are out ev­ery week, vis­it­ing liquor out­lets to make sure they are fol­low­ing the law.

“Most premises are pretty well run but there are a few that get it wrong.”

Of­fi­cers will be on the look­out for in­tox­i­cated mi­nors.

In the past two months, sev­eral out­lets have had their li­cences sus­pended or can­celled af­ter be­ing caught sell­ing to mi­nors.

The Di­a­mond Mart on Queen St had its off-li­cence can­celled last month, af­ter it sold a can of bour­bon to a 17-year-old dur­ing a po­lice op­er­a­tion in June.

Man­ager Byeong Mun Choi also had his gen­eral man­ager’s cer­tifi­cate can­celled af­ter the New Zealand Liquor Li­cens­ing Au­thor­ity ruled he was not suit­able to hold the cer­tifi­cate.

The Herne Bay Cel­lars on Jer­vois Rd had its off-li­cence sus­pended for 24 hours on Septem­ber 17 af­ter be­ing caught in a sim­i­lar sting.

The 17-year-old vol­un­teer was able to buy a four-pack of Jim Beam and cola drinks without proof of age.

Duty man­ager Materoa Kowhai left the busi­ness af­ter the in­ci­dent and the au­thor­ity did not sus­pend his man­ager’s cer­tifi­cate.

Other crimes which in­creased in the last fi­nan­cial year in­clude se­ri­ous as­saults, up by 33.9 per­cent, fam­ily of­fences up 63.2 per­cent and homi­cides, up 16.7 per­cent.

Sex­ual at­tacks fell by 9.8 per­cent, bur­glar­ies went down by 7.4 per­cent and dis­hon­esty crimes by 16 per­cent.

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