'Lots of disorder' disappoints police

Steve Aitken
Steve Aitken
A police officer was allegedly assaulted and firefighters had bottles thrown at them by partygoers during a weekend when there was ''lots of disorder'', Dunedin police say.

Two Port Chalmers men were arrested after an incident in Harrington St on Saturday night when the constable was punched in the face and police arrested 10 people after a spate of fires in North Dunedin.

Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken said behaviour such as that exhibited in North Dunedin was ''putting other people at risk''. There was ''lots of disorder'' during the night.

''It's disappointing when young people can't drink responsibly,'' he said.

Police needed reinforcements when attempts to shut down a noisy sound system in Port Chalmers resulted in the officer being allegedly assaulted.

''Things got a little bit ugly,'' Snr Sgt Aitken said.

''One of the occupants of the address got particularly aggressive towards police.''

A constable from Dunedin Central police station was allegedly struck by a ''sucker punch'' as the five officers who initially attended the call-out, to assist Armourguard with a property seizure, withdrew from the property to call for back-up.

Three more officers arrived at the property shortly after the incident and two Port Chalmers men were arrested.

The assaulted officer received ''some bruising to his face'', but was otherwise uninjured, Snr Sgt Aitken said.

A 31-year-old Port Chalmers man will appear in the Dunedin District Court on Friday to face charges of assaulting a police officer, obstructing police and resisting police.

A 24-year-old Port Chalmers man was also arrested at the address and will face charges relating to an unrelated assault, obstructing police and resisting police.

Dunedin City Council environmental health team leader Ros MacGill said noise control staff seized an amplifier from the address after an excessive noise direction was issued on Saturday night.

Station Officer Mark Leonard, of Willowbank, said the Fire Service attended a street fire in Harbour Tce about 11.15pm on Saturday.

''There was a large bonfire in the street with a large crowd gathered,'' he said.

''There were a couple of bottles thrown possibly at or near the firemen and there was some pretty unruly behaviour.''

The situation was ''very disappointing'' and police were called to help Fire Service staff. ''Obviously, we are just doing our job putting these fires out and ... when young people throw bottles at firemen it's not acceptable behaviour.''

Snr Sgt Aitken said a dog handler attended to help the Fire Service. However, the partygoers dispersed.

Two arrests were made in North Dunedin relating to disorder on Saturday night and yesterday morning.

''It's disappointing that other emergency services have had bottles thrown at them,'' he said.

Following the arrival of police, firefighters put out the Harbour Tce fire.

The Fire Service also attended two furniture fires in North Dunedin and a rubbish fire. Snr Sgt Aitken said police arrested 10 people on Saturday night and yesterday morning.

-timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

Alcohol availability

Maybe it IS the drinking. It used to be well-understood that alcohol reduces inhibitions - so the more that is drunk the less inhibited the behaviour, including the inhibition against getting more drunk. It is simple cause-and-effect.

The only way to reduce the unwanted effects is to reduce the availablity of alcohol. Raising the price will only raise profits and taxes without addressing the basic problem.

Agree

Well said Girlyswot, couldn't have said it better. 'Freedom from' should always trump 'freedom to'.

Lock them up and throw away the key

It's not the drinking, it's their behaviour while drinking.  And how we drink.  People drink to get drunk - but why?  Do you remember it? Do you feel good in the morning?  No.  And if your aggression spikes while drinking you should not drink. If you can't control your intake or your behaviour sunshine you are not mature enough to partake of the hops.  If you get so drunk that Noise Control taking away your iddy biddy stereo system causes a riot then you can't control yourself and should give up the turps.  Police are there to protect us, not to be sucker punched by a cowardly piece of squish on the suds.  And if you are throwing things at firemen then they should be allowed to hose you into next week.  Grow up people.  If the drink drives you then you lose your licence for freedom.

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