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The results of Operation Unite: A blitz against drunken violence this weekend show that New Zealanders are having a great night out but still thinking about their mates and getting safely home.
"This year we had over 800 staff on both Friday and Saturday nights engaged in Operation Unite and we had quite a small number of associated arrests, liquor licensing breaches and incidents of violence and that is very encouraging," said Assistant Commissioner Nick Perry.
This focus for Commissioners for the fifth joint Operation across Australia and New Zealand was on promoting the message that we all have to think about our behaviour, when we drink and consider the impact it may have long after the night is over.
"Our statistics are not great when it comes to our behaviour when we have been drinking. Coming into Christmas it is timely to think about this and how we can do better and look after ourselves and each other," Mr Perry said.
Alcohol related crime is estimated to cost New Zealand NZ$716.5m a year with in excess of NZ$200m spent on policing alone. Approximately half (49.5%) of all homicides recorded between 1999 and 2008 involved either a suspect or victim being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. At least one third of arrests for violence-related offences are committed by a person affected by alcohol.
"Unfortunately alcohol remains a common factor in a wide range of offending and victimisation. On an average day in New Zealand there are 49 incidents where a person is either driven home or is taken into Police custody due to their intoxication level and 253 apprehensions where offenders have consumed alcohol prior to their arrest.
"We have to do better at looking after ourselves and each other.
"I would urge people to think about their nights out this Christmas. We need people to take responsibility for their actions, rather than leaving it to the Police to pick up the pieces. We need people to get this message."
Results for Operation Unite.
NZ results Fri Sat
Staff deployed 801 868
Arrests 169 171
Assaults 35 59
Licensing breaches 25 38
Breathalyser offences 179 194
Results for Op Unite
Staff deployed 8347
Licensing breaches 578
Breathalyser offences 987