More people, more problems in historic area

More people visiting, drinking and socialising in Oamaru's historic area will naturally cause an increase in police being called there for incidents, including violence, Sergeant Tony Woodbridge, of Oamaru, says.

Two assaults in the area at the weekend did not mean it was becoming unsafe to visit at night, he emphasised yesterday when asked if violence was on the increase.

Two people were knocked unconscious and treated at Oamaru Hospital. One of the incidents was a domestic one involving a couple from Auckland. In the other, an Oamaru man was hit by an assailant police were still trying to identify.

''More people are visiting the area and socialising at licensed premises, which will result in more incidents,'' Sgt Woodbridge said.

The area was well patrolled by police, the Waitaki Guardians and Waitaki Community Patrol because of increasing volumes of visitors.

''There was a spike last weekend [in incidents] and, if that continues, we will look to patrol even more.''

Sgt Woodbridge said licensed premises in the area were not wholly to blame, because some people were drinking at home before going out and socialising.

Details of a reported third assault in Oamaru at the weekend were still unclear and the victim had not been located.

Anyone with information should call the Oamaru Police Station on (03) 433-1400 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.

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