Police commend crowd behaviour
Matamata police are praising the crowd at the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes on Saturday after an almost incident free day.
While Pukekohe filly Lady Royale took out the feature race, spectators were doing their part to keep things under control.
Officer in charge Sergeant Graham McGurk said there were just three arrests made at the event.
‘‘I was really pleased with the behaviour of 99.5 per cent of attendants,’’ he said. ‘‘Overall, it was really good.’’ Police stopped about 650 cars over the course of the day and found no one to be driving with excess breath alcohol.
An 18- year- old man was arrested for obstruction after he refused to co-operate with police over a dangerous driving incident.
He was the owner of a car that pulled into the car boot party area, which was full of people, and performed a donut. The person driving then left.
‘‘We were able to locate the car and believe we have identified the driver,’’ said Mr McGurk.
‘‘ The owner of the car was arrested after having a blase attitude about the incident.
‘‘He is the owner of the car and he is responsible for who gets in it.’’
Two men were also arrested for fighting as they were leaving the races.
Police had been concerned over the drinking behaviour of some of the younger people at the event, said Mr McGurk.
‘‘We spoke to two 18-year-old young women who were walking around the racecourse drinking wine straight from the bottle.
‘‘The bottle was thrown into a large rubbish container but a short time later one of them had gone through the trash and recovered the wine.
‘‘She was subsequently told to leave the racecourse but was again located a short time later at a friend’s tent very intoxicated.’’
Officers later saw the same young lady in town sitting in the middle of a crowded footpath adding a new friend to Facebook on her phone.
‘‘Her parents, and most probably her as well, would have been appalled upon reflection,’’ he said.
A fourth person was arrested in town after the races, said Mr McGurk.
‘‘ Police were speaking to a young man about his behaviour when an older gentleman in an intoxicated state decided to intervene and pull police away.
‘‘ As a result, while being arrested, the man dislocated his elbow and an ambulance had to be called.’’
Mr McGurk said police were looking at bar owners to be more accountable in preventing these types of incidents.
‘‘ In health and safety, an employer must keep their employees safe,’’ he said.
‘‘In the same way, it is also their responsibility to keep their patrons safe. It’s as simple as that. Proprietors should act responsibly by not allowing intoxicated people in or serving them alcohol,’’ he said.’