Bar hours under fire
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