Police presence strong for weekend

More than 50 police will patrol Alexandra during Blossom Festival weekend, including those in highway patrols and drink-driving units.

The officer in charge of Central Otago, Senior Sergeant Mike Cook, said in total about 55 staff would be working in and around the Alexandra area from tonight.

A temporary liquor ban in central Alexandra was put in place last night at 7pm and will stay in force until 1am on Monday.

Snr Sgt Cook, of Alexandra, said arrests for offences during the annual festival had greatly reduced since 2004, when he moved to the area.

"The liquor ban seems to be a contributing factor," he said.

Two booze buses will be operating in the town, and a warning has been issued for people travelling into Alexandra to leave their alcohol behind.

"If people bring alcohol into town, it will only cause them problems," Snr Sgt Cook said.

He also urged people travelling on Central Otago roads during the weekend to take care.

"We want people to come into Alexandra as long as they are sensible. At the end of the day, it is about having a good festival."



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