Safety warning in Whangamata this New Year’s Eve

File photo.

As people across the country prepare to celebrate the New Year with a few drinks, Whanagmata Police are reminding parents and caregivers to keep a watchful eye on their young people.

Over a 90 minute period on Wednesday night, Whangamata Police issued 58 fines for breach of the liquor ban to young people who were drinking alcohol in Williamson Park. 

There is a large and visible police presence in Whangamata over this holiday period and staff are working with the community and local alcohol retailers to ensure everyone can enjoy the celebrations safely and without incident.

"Our message to parents is to ensure that any alcohol provided is given and consumed in the home environment, and not to assume their children would not make poor decisions around alcohol," says acting Senior Sergeant Terri Wilson.

"We are working to keep our youth safe during this holiday period, but we all have a part to play."

Often after incidents staff will speak with parents who will say they didn’t know what their kids were up to and that they didn’t think they would ever be involved in such behaviour.

Here are a few things police would advise over the party season:

  • If you are planning on drinking, then it’s a good idea to have something substantial to eat before you start
  • Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink
  • Plan how you are getting home at the end of your night, and have the cash, eftpos card or app to pay for transport
  • Look after your friends and stick together so you can watch out for each other
  • Have a place to meet up with your friends if you do get separated
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you head out
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept any drinks that you haven't personally seen poured, especially from strangers
  • If you have concerns about someone’s behaviour, call Police

"Make sure you have a designated driver or put aside money for a taxi," says Terri.

"If you plan to walk, go in pairs or groups, and either way have a plan for getting home safely.

"We want parents to take note of this advice too, so they can make sure their young ones have the information they need to be safe while having fun."

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