Police will work with food-and-drink outlets on security issues

Police plan to work with Queenstown food-and-drink outlets to reduce the number of late-night drinking incidents in the resort.

Since the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown police installed the closed circuit television system (CCTV) in May, police have been able to identify more offenders and victims.

Sergeant Derek Ealson said yesterday the system had been of great benefit in its first six months.

"Queenstown is a great place to visit. We want people to have a great time, but within the bounds of the law, without impacting on others," he said.

"The key message is to drink sensibly, and look after your mates. If you drink to excess, you are more likely to become victims or offenders, and this has simply been proven by these incidents."

Sgt Ealson was referring to one recent incident at the Queenstown McDonald's that resulted in the restaurant's duty manager being sentenced last week to seven months' home detention.

Rishi Kumar (34) was convicted of injuring with intent to cause injury after he grabbed a customer, swung him around, punched him to the ground, stood on his torso and kicked the man in the head.

Kumar has since said he was under pressure that evening, that his victim was intoxicated and yelling racial abuse and that his victim had spat on him.

Last week, Kumar claimed his requests to his employer, Mark Julian, for more security were not acted upon. He had been removed from his managerial position after the August 30 incident.

Sgt Ealson said police were working with McDonald's management and other outlets notorious for police call-outs for drunken behaviour.

"Unfortunately, McDonald's has been in the press recently and we are working with establishments on security issues."

Sgt Ealson said the installation of the CCTV system had helped police identify people and establish what had occurred.


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