Mental health, family harm incidents ‘on a daily basis’

Wānaka Police Senior Sergeant Chris Brooks. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Wānaka Police Senior Sergeant Chris Brooks. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Wānaka police are responding to mental health and family harm incidents "on a daily basis", Senior Sergeant Chris Brooks says.

He said callouts for family harm could range from arguments over bills to cases of serious violence, and that police work often extended beyond a single incident.

"That argument could be the third, fourth argument of the day or the week.

"From verbal arguing, does it then lead to violence?"

Snr Sgt Brooks said police met with other agencies such as Oranga Tamariki on a weekly basis to develop the "best approach" for individual cases.

Police also responded to reports of a man threatening to shoot police while on the phone with the Ministry of Justice.

Snr Sgt Brooks said the individual appeared to have become upset after being issued with a speeding ticket, and that police had visited the man’s residence and spoken with him about the incident.

On Wānaka’s roads, police responded to a single-vehicle crash on the Crown Range on Monday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene near Cardrona Bridge 6 (about 9km south of Cardrona Village) at about 1.44pm.

Snr Sgt Brooks said the vehicle had left the road and collided with a small boulder. The vehicle’s occupants had received moderate injuries, and had been taken to Lakes District Hospital by ambulance.

On the same stretch of road, police also attended a "fairly serious" report of a car crossing the centre line multiple times over the Crown Range.

"We’ve managed to get hold of it near Mt Cardrona Station entrance,"  Snr Sgt Brooks said.

The overseas driver had no alcohol in their system, and was instructed on correct driving practice.

"Education was better than writing up an infringement," he said.

Following several breaches of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act by some Wānaka bars at Christmas time, police are preparing submissions for the Alcohol and Regulatory Licensing Authority (ARLA).

Snr Sgt Brooks said while police generally tried to work with bar owners before escalating to ARLA, the breaches included cases of minors in bars, which was cause for immediate escalation.

"We’ve gone past education, we’ve gone past what we call a graduated response where we will sit down with bars and go look, something’s going wrong here."