Police cracked down on alcohol-related crime in a wide-spread Auckland operation overnight, and call for Auckland Council to close bars at 3am as part of their alcohol policy.
Police began Operation Relentless at 2pm yesterday, and have carried out a range of strategies, including control and purchase operations, checkpoints, bar and licence visits and patrolling the known areas.
Police visited 26 premises in the Karangahape Rd area - focussing on off-licences, and found one had failed. The road policing checkpoint had eight people fail drink-driving tests by 8pm, and one person was arrested for assault.
Police say pre-loading is a "major issue", with people buying a box of beers for around $20 and sitting in their car pre-drinking before going onto the street.
A police spokesperson told Newshub it's young people, who will "run the gauntlet because it's cheaper to buy the cans and bottles from the bottle store and get pre-loaded and come and listen to the music".
Karangahape Rd in central Auckland (Newshub.)
He said police want Auckland Council to bring back the 3am closing time for bars because the longer they are open, the higher risk extrapolates out of someone getting hurt.
More than 70 police and partner agency staff were involved in the operation, spreading to areas including Mission Bay and Ponsonby.
Police say the operation is part of the Auckland City Police District's ongoing strategy to prevent alcohol-related offending, and protect those who become victims of it.