Wānaka Sun       

Police put parents on notice over holiday period

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 24 Dec, 2020 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Turning a blind eye while your child walks to the town centre carrying alcohol might not be the wisest financial move for parents this year.

Wānaka Police have said they will fine parents up to $2,000 for supplying underage teenagers with alcohol, then not supervising them, during this holiday period.

Wānaka Police Prevention Sergeant Darren Cranfield said the tougher line is part of a suite of measures both at the Police and the community level to prevent alcohol harm in the town this year. These include children and under-age teens not being allowed to stay on their own at camping grounds, and a town liquor ban from 8:00pm December 24 until 6:00am 6 January. 

“Most trouble is always alcohol-based. The message is that no children are allowed in the town centre with alcohol. If a parent supplies their under-age child with alcohol, there is a fair chance Police will catch up with them and they will be fined,” he said.

“We're trying to encourage parents to take more responsibility, and we'd like to encourage them to come down and be part of events in the town centre, and an extra set of eyes for us. We want people to enjoy festivities, but stay safe,” he said.

There will be 37 more Police coming to Wānaka from out of town, including a six-person alcohol prevention team.

Also, due to the high numbers and variety of people, including criminals, who will arrive this holiday season, people are strongly advised to lock their houses and cars. 

“Otherwise, it's a “lolly scramble” for burglars and thieves, as we saw in North Lake last year when cars and houses were targeted for easy pickings - property left outside and cars left open.”

Police are expecting numbers of people in Wānaka to “explode” over the Christmas/New Year period, with greater numbers expected than recent years. 

“We know from bookings that the town is probably at capacity. Although often weather dependent, even if it rains, once they're here they're committed.”

Read edition 1006 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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