Bar hours un­der fire

Central Leader - - Letters -

Auck­land mayor John Banks told you that clos­ing bars in the cen­tral city early would be ca­pit­u­lat­ing to crim­i­nals.

Does this mean that the ob­ject of the of­fend­ers who cause over 40 per­cent of cen­tral Auck­land’s vi­o­lent crime which oc­curs be­tween 11pm and 5am (as against 27 per­cent of vi­o­lent crime dur­ing this time in the rest of New Zealand) is to have bar hours re­stricted?

Mr Banks likes to say he has zero tol­er­ance for anti- so­cial be­hav­iour and pushes for putting more re­sources into con­fronting the louts.

But he also seems to have to­tal tol­er­ance for 24-hour li­cens­ing which helps to set up sit­u­a­tions which lead to most of the of­fend­ing.

Po­lice in­spec­tor Rob Ab­bott told coun­cil­lors that 24-hour liquor li­cens­ing is con­tribut­ing to a 25 per­cent in­crease in vi­o­lent crime in cen­tral Auck­land since 1998, but Mr Banks will do noth­ing about this.

The pur­pose of liquor li­cens­ing is to con­trol the harm­ful ef­fects of binge drink­ing by set­ting rules on where, when, by whom, how and how much drink­ing takes place.

This is the area in which the coun­cil and Mr Banks can make a con­tri­bu­tion to the prob­lem through pre­ven­tion.

In­stead he chooses to fo­cus on deal­ing with trou­ble af­ter it has oc­curred which is the job of the po­lice, not the coun­cil. DAVID HOLM


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