Police crack down on alcohol at hairdressers

Police are targeting hairdressers and barber shops around New Zealand in a crackdown on complementary alcohol for customers.

It is against the law to give away free alcohol, and it's illegal to serve alcohol without a liquor licence.

Radio New Zealand reports a chain of men's barber shops in Dunedin had been warned to stop offering customers drinks.

A number of other barbershops had also been approached by police.

Police prevention manager Inspector Paula Holt told Radio NZ in a statement that police were acting to ensure the shops weren't breaking the law.

"It is an offence to promote or advertise alcohol that is free of charge. Giving away free alcohol with a haircut is not a practice that police condone, as there are host responsibility issues beyond the scope of a hairdresser that may be overlooked," she said.

"Police have no intention of pursuing this matter any further than providing guidance to business owners at this stage."

But the crackdown faces a backlash from hair salon owners, who say it's normal to offer customers a drink - and it's only to help them relax after a long day.

"There's quiet outrage, it's just a shame, a bloody shame," one Auckland barber told Radio NZ.

"There must be a lot of other places that supply the occasional beer particularly in barbering and in hairdressing who will have to have a think about how to do that."


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