Du Fresne on moralising Police

January 17th, 2012 at 7:21 am by David Farrar

makes some excellent points here:

When did the decide that their role extended beyond preventing crime and apprehending lawbreakers?

Clearly, a new generation of officers is under the delusion that they have a remit to provide moral guidance and matronly advice to the rest of us on how to lead wholesome lives.

Last week the head of the Canterbury police alcohol strategy and enforcement team, Sergeant , was publicly tut-tutting over the granting of an alcohol licence to a new Christchurch supermarket.

With respect, Mr Lawn should pull his head in. The law allows the police to have their say when submissions are heard on liquor licence applications, but once the decision is made, that should be an end to it.

Absolutely. It is not their job to undermine the decision of the independent authority, through the media.

Obviously not satisfied with this state of affairs, and probably smarting because the decision didn’t go his way, Mr Lawn seized on the opportunity to lecture supermarkets on their supposed moral responsibilities.

He doesn’t think supermarkets should discount alcohol because it supposedly encourages binge drinking. But I know lots of people who are happy to buy discounted wine and beer from supermarkets and they couldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, be labelled as binge drinkers.

Mr Lawn went even further, suggesting that stores should reduce the price of milk, fruit and vegetables to attract customers “in a way that is also good for the community”. What pompous moralising.

Someone send him a membership form for the Mana Party.

When did the Police become responsible for the price of milk?

Out of curiosity I googled Mr Lawn and on the basis of what I saw, I concluded that he has well and truly crossed the line between objective law enforcement and political activism. He makes emotive statements about liquor industry “drug pushers” and condemns politicians for not getting tougher on alcohol.

He is entitled to those views as a private citizen, but to push them as a police officer is an abuse of his position.

Absolutely.

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64 Responses to “Du Fresne on moralising Police”

  1. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    Sergeant Lawn no doubt has to deal with the aftermath of discounted alcohol in his community.

    Although his comments lack finesse, it’s hard to argue against the huge social cost that the misuse of alcohol is placing on the country.

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  2. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    Well said, Mr Du Fresne.
    That tosser cop should run for Parliament under the Green ticket.

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  3. Longknives (4,746 comments) says:

    Most the coppers I know love a few drinks. This guy, however, is a pompous wowser….

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  4. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    gump, he is paid to uphold the law, end of story. No matter whether piss is discounted or not, there will always be binge drinkers, and the aftermath of drinking in our communities, becuase some morons always will. What makes you, or PC Plod, think that adding $2 a bottle will make that go away?

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  5. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    I bet he votes Nanny Labour.

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  6. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis said:

    What makes you, or PC Plod, think that adding $2 a bottle will make that go away?

    ———————

    The same thing that makes smoking rates come down when tobacco taxation increases.

    Sergeant Lawn is the spokesman for his region’s alcohol strategy and enforcement team. It’s entirely within his remit to comment on the availability of discounted alcohol in his community.

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  7. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Lawn is entitled to the right of free speech. If his employer feels he has spoken inappropriately in his role as a cop, then it is up to them to censure him.

    I disagree with Lawn on the issue of availability of the alcohol drug, as with any drug, but he’s right that alcohol manufacturers shouldn’t be allowed to push their drug in any way, shape or form.

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  8. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    When did the Police become responsible for the price of milk?

    yeah, those binge-drinking lactose-addicts are a real problem for the police

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  9. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    What makes you, or PC Plod, think that adding $2 a bottle will make that go away?

    It’s called price-demand curve. You should look it up.

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  10. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Curious, the thread title says it is about “The Police”, when in fact it is all about Sergeant Lawn…?

    Did you perhaps get pulled up for speeding over the summer, and find this a good opportunity for venting, by any chance, DPF?

    [DPF: Nope, so don't invent smears]

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  11. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Alcohol consumption is not bad for anyone, unless they overindulge. The same could be said for almost any food product. I get sick of people telling me I shouldn’t be able to buy a cheap bottle of wine at the supermarket because other people are dumb cunts. Police them, not the rest of us.

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  12. Mikey (13 comments) says:

    I seem to remember, from the Last Drink Survey reports that used to be published in the newspaper, that over 50% of crime is committed by drunk people. That would seem to give the Police something of a mandate to comment on the availability of alcohol.

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  13. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    A politically-correct wowser, not a rarity in today’s NZ Police. That’s what Mr Lawn is.

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  14. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller you shouldn’t be able to buy a cheap bottle of wine at the supermarket because Padre Lawn Mower said so, and another thing, don’t bloody whine about it. If we are all very good and obey, the price of milk will get cheaper which also has a lot to do with the price of fish.

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  15. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Here in CHCh , we are quite happy for Mr Lawn to have his say. Du Fresne is pc which is terrific for Wgtn and fine for Ak but not popular here. ChCh has a long standing problem with alcohol with the highest number of alcoholics out of the bigger cities. I have never met so many female alcoholics anywhere else in the world. Very sad. A lot of them used to have careers , used to have families , used to have homes..used to have lives..
    We have more than enough problems down here without more liquor outlets.

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  16. decanker (184 comments) says:

    Under another government, if someone got stuck into a policemen who publicly questioned policy, they would have been shouted down with “get over it mate, he’s entitled to his views, he’s picking up the pieces, freedom of speech, PC gone mad”

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  17. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    The same criticism should be leveled at defence lawyers, some of whom adopt an activist approach when making public comments about their clients claimed innocence.

    You never hear a prosecutor before a trial speak to the media about what a strong case they have and the person is guilty, but its increasingly common for defence lawyers to say how their client is utterly innocent and will strongly defend the case, etc.

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  18. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Could be that Sergeant Lawn’s tirade against alcohol signifies a move by the NZ Police to punish miscreants with safety & morality lectures. They’ve already trialed the strategy with road policing. A mate was pulled up over the holiday period for the heinous crime of exceeding the 100KPH speed limit by a small amount & along with the ticket was delivered the start of a lecture on road safety by the issuing officer.

    He asked whether it was compulsory to listen to the crap…..when advised that it wasn’t he wound up the window & took off but the homily at the scene of the crime may be new police policy.

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  19. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Good on him – he’s in a better position than most to see the effect of having cheap alcohol readily available.

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  20. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    nasska

    Oh the horror. The temerity of a police officer to suggest to a motorist that speeding could be dangerous. What an outrageous imposition.

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  21. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    The ticket or the lecture…either one but not both.

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  22. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Good comment Mikey.
    Decades ago I was involved in prisoner rehabilitation. A chaplain who had worked for many years at a well known men’s prison , wrote a book after retiring. He and thje Catholic chaplain , had spoken to every inmate who came to the prison. He said 100 per cent of the crimes were committed when the men were drunk.
    Recently , a guy wrote a really good comment in the Press comments section. He said he had been in prison seven times but once he got off the alcohol , he got his life on track and never went back to prison and that almost all of the inmates have alcohol and drug problems. Try getting on a drug and alcohol programme at CHCH men’s. They have English prison officers there who can hardly read or write. It takes years to get on any kind of programme. They are so disorganised.
    There is a class issue here..You have white middle class people who drink wine most nights and very seldom get arrested for any kind of crime. They want to be able to pop along to the supermarket for another bottle of plonk. They tend to live in a very narrow , sanitised world where they are never confronted by the true ugliness of alcohol.

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  23. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller – exactly. Why should I be penalised by having to pay more for my alcohol when it is other idiots causing all the problems?

    How about, instead of taking the obnoxiously drunk idiots on the streets to a cell to sober up and then letting them out the next day with a chuckle, you arrest and fine them for public drunkeness? How about, instead of me having to subsidize those idiots who injure themselves when drunk, they are responsible for paying in full for their injuries if they were drunk at the time?

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  24. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    There is a class issue here..You have white middle class people who drink wine most nights and very seldom get arrested for any kind of crime. They want to be able to pop along to the supermarket for another bottle of plonk.

    A racist communist has spoken. This is class warfare, folks.

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  25. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    What planet is Karl on, the Police State is already here, just need to look at the extended powers Police have under anti-smacking legislation, they are judge, jury and executioner (then CYFS gets to re-run the process a 2nd time), because Parliament ‘made it so’, thankfully, the Police have done a great job and exercised a lot of common sense & not abused their extended powers.

    As for liquor licensing, once again Karl shows his naivete. In a liquor licensing application, the Court will rubber stamp the submissions of the Police, because they know the real trouble spots for binge drinking and where violent behaviour occurs as a result of a number of factors: cheap booze, low calibre clientele (usually students/youths), a number of call outs to the same low quality establishment or student bar, complaints from neighbouring establishments who report damage or drunken louts causing trouble. Certainly they are more in the know than the Courts and can be relied upon, as opposed to alcohol suppliers who just want to turn a buck.

    Yes – the Police should have a say & the legislation currently allows them to have a BIG say in such applications: because they deal with the ferals and have to clean up the mess. They can oppose, reduce liquor licence timeframes, put conditions on. They can inspect liquor outlets at any time, speak to staff and work with local Councils to bring establishments into line, who are not operating safely, they are effectively higher level regulators under current legislation.

    The thin blue line does set the base moral boundary, they are out at the coal face and are well aware of the issues facing NZ society, more so than some po-faced chardonney drinking, pseudo-intellectual has-been who has probably never set foot in a feral neighbourhood in his life.

    Yes, allowing a supermarket to have a liquor licence will mean a small percentage of the population (the ferals), will buy alcohol, abuse it and then the Police will have to deal with the resulting violence, criminal damage and disorderly behaviour. Hopefully, none of their number will be seriously hurt.

    It is absolutely essential that the Police have a say in the supermarkets liquor licence applications over time (liquor licence applications are renewed every 3 years I believe, in some cases a shorter period is ordered), especially if the direct result of supplying alcohol is violence, damage and death to that community.

    You can THANK the Police for exercising common sense and not opposing the supermarkets liquor licence application, despite not liking it and knowing it will likely cause them more problems, manpower and risk.

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  26. mister nui (1,028 comments) says:

    No matter the price of alcohol there will always be binge drinkers. Making the supermarkets sell at a price determined by lefties is not going to change many binge drinkers one iota. Most binge drinkers get their fill at a bar on a typical Friday / Saturday night, the ones who get their fill from the supermarket are going to get it anyway.

    What pisses me, is the inference that all binge drinkers are trouble makers. I’m a big drinker and at times probably considered a binge drinker, but I don’t cause trouble, have never been in a fight and never been arrested. Yes, many morons out there are binge drinkers and cause all manner of shit. But we must change our culture where people learn to take responsibility for their actions and if that means that they binge drink AND then cause strife, there are some serious consequences, rather than a compliment on your dress by some lily-livered judge. But penalising all of us because of the actions of the irresponsible, well, that’s just straight out of Stalin’s playbook.

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  27. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Of any policeman in NZ, Al lawn is at the very cutting edge of alcohol abuse, and has been for 20 years. I suspect this is a spill-over, after watching unabated horrors in homes,. cars and on streets and nothing being done to stem the massacre. We can’t expect police to be emotionless robots continually picking up our blood, guts and ruined lives. So what’s worse, a cop who speaks out or sheep in blue?

    I think I prefer a cop like this once in a while. These guys are heroes and do our dirty work. We can cut Al lawn some slack to have a moment at commercial profiteers of alcohol, especially as his beat is earthquake destroyed Sumner having a go at posh Fendalton Jim Beam watering hole.

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  28. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    When did the Police become responsible for the price of milk?

    Maybe under Muldoon’s price-fixing, or was some government ministry responsible?

    You never hear a prosecutor before a trial speak to the media about what a strong case they have and the person is guilty, but its increasingly common for defence lawyers to say how their client is utterly innocent and will strongly defend the case, etc.

    Well, yes. Prosecutors are prohibited from doing stuff like that (they’re supposed to present to the evidence and leave it up to a Court to decide, and not least because the presumption of innocence stops the state and the people acting on its behalf from saying people are guilty until they are found to be). Defence lawyers are there to basically do what their clients would do themselves if they were capable, and can be required (by instructions from their clients) to do stuff like that. That’s how the system works (and should work).

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  29. mister nui (1,028 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller, you put it so much more eloquently than I ever could have:

    I get sick of people telling me I shouldn’t be able to buy a cheap bottle of wine at the supermarket because other people are dumb cunts. Police them, not the rest of us.

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  30. mister nui (1,028 comments) says:

    …….had spoken to every inmate who came to the prison. He said 100 per cent of the crimes were committed when the men were drunk.

    Was one of them Jamie Linehan?

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  31. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Of course the police have been running the same lines in the “war on drugs” that has been and will continue to be a failure all around the world. The more enlightened countries are changing.
    Had the opportunity to talk to a young Dutch lady at camp ground and she was quite clear the the changes against the war policy were having a really beneficial effect in her homeland.

    Like all zealots with issues he has an unbalanced point of view.

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  32. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    DPF quoted Karl du Fresne when he pointed out that the Police had already had their say before the supermarket liquor licence was granted. The authorities usually give the police a good hearing when they oppose the granting or continuation of any licence.

    Sergeant Lawn didn’t like the decision & decided to throw his toys out of the cot. I’m surprised that his employers allowed him to comment further at least in an official capacity.

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  33. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHI-4NWB8n0

    He is a goose but then again he’s from Christichurch.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    His mandate is to enact the will of Parliament.

    Perhaps a letter to Gary Knowles from the supermarkets legal team may get him to concentrate on enforcing the law as it stands and not interferring in a legally run business

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  34. JamesP (76 comments) says:

    I’m sure Sergeant Lawn believes quite sincerely that limiting alcohol supply will prevent crime. How true this is is debatable but it is a legitimate viewpoint.

    Also, having police advocate in areas which might traditionally be beyond their scope is entirely consistent with concept of “neighbourhood policing”. This concept is supported by National and the new commisioner so expect to see more of it.

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  35. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Wonder if Lawn has a blog.

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  36. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Living in the area, the issue’s slightly more complicated.

    There’s three new alcohol outlets planned.

    1) The student union is building a pub next to a primary school. This is a placement for the old pub which is in a munted building and is just across the carpark.

    2) The supermarket

    3) A liquorstore which is being planned for a disued petrol station just around the corner. There is real opposition to this and the manner of public notification was rather underhand – fence of the property while have the notice posted in a window which you have to cross the fencing to read. The fencing itself is still plastooned with for lease signs.

    In addition, there is a local ban on the public consumption of liquor due to central city people migrating from the now closed strip to get plastered.

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  37. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    metcalph

    and if people break any laws the police will be there to deal with the issues.

    Its almost to the “thought crime” stage

    JamesP

    How is Lawns speaking to a handful of oldies at a public meeting advocating in anyway?
    These people don’t make the decision wether a licence is granted. The place for him to advocate is at the licencing board where if he is any good he will have had stats regarding alcohol related issues in the area, the number of arrests, alcohol related domestic issues ( presuming he can prove this alcohol was purchased in the area) all those things that you woud expect to bring to a meeting if you are wanted to be taken seriously.If he stood up and his submission was ‘I’ve has a gutsful” you’d tell him to bugger off without a sausage roll.

    Obviously he wasn’t good enough at the licencing hearing and has gone public with this psuedo relegious fervour

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  38. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    He is entitled to speak his mind. On these issues police are well qualified to speak having seen the effects of alcohol abuse. I would like to see a significant increase in the price of alcohol but the politicians won’t touch it. There needs to be wide public debate and I think police officers are well qualified to participate in the debate.

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  39. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    I would like to see a significant increase in the price of alcohol but the politicians won’t touch it..

    Who is stopping you? Pay double,or even treble the price, next time you buy it. The shopkeeper will be happy.

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  40. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    tvb

    The deal with policing is “without fear or favour” . The supermarket is running legally, it is not his job to speak about a specific business, if I was the supermarket owner I would be highly agitated withthis interference regarding my business .

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  41. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    I see that the Police opposed this licence and it sounds like they were on solid grounds, with 3 competing new liquor establishments setting up, including a student union. Obviously the Police know student binge drinking will be a major problem for the Police and are trying to work with the supermarket chain to reduce the risk to the wider community.

    If the Police feel so strongly about the licence and the supermarket is not complying with their ongoing advice and not willing to forge a relationship with them, then the Police should appeal the licence to the District Court. Alternatively, they should apply to revoke it if they cannot get any co-operation from the supermarket and discount booze is a direct cause of violence/crime.

    Police should be able to safely regulate the amount of alcohol being supplied into an area they will have to Police. If the Council, Police and community opposed the decision, it sounds ripe for appeal. Recipe for disaster.

    Good on the Police for bringing the issue to the publics attention, the community was involved in the original licence decision and opposed the licence and they can be involved in any appeal. Therefore, it is a licence that the Police should rightly comment to the community about, especially the risks.

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  42. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    [DPF: Nope, so don't invent smears]

    Smears? I’m just making conversation! Jesus…

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  43. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay 10:44 “I would be highly agitated with his interference regarding my business…”

    I’m highly offended by the impact of the supermarket’s legal business on my community, especially young campus students and cars hurtling down Moorhouse ave at 150km per hour tanked up on Vodka.

    Business has a social responsibility too, not just collecting $.

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  44. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    gump, eszett, before you start lecturing on economics, understand the market you deal in.

    gump, you cannot compare tobacco and alcohol. You put the price up on piss, people will gravitate to really cheap and nasty piss – and there is too much opportunity in such an unregulated market, with home grown opportunity as well, to regulate the problem away by raising price through taxation. Dont think it doesnt happen, it does – go and stand in the fill your own queue at your local liquor store. You cant price that away, the market just keeps finding ways around it – and unless you make it illegal to make your own, forget it – and want to try policing that? Good luck.

    eszett – as above – with elasticity around product availablity like that, your attempt at a derisive reponse is a fail whale Im afraid. Try reading the Benham texts as a start point, might be about your level.

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  45. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    @iMP:
    “I’m highly offended by the impact of the supermarket’s legal business on my community, especially young campus students and cars hurtling down Moorhouse ave at 150km per hour tanked up on Vodka.”

    Thats just silly, the modifications you would need to make to a car to run it on vodka wouldnt make paying $20 a litre for spud liquor viable :)

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  46. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “ChCh has a long standing problem with alcohol with the highest number of alcoholics out of the bigger cities”

    Say who?

    Id believe it though. The place is a shit hole. Even before the quakes.

    Highest number of inbreds too no doubt.

    Dime is also sick of people thinking we should be governed by the actions of a few. I dont drink socially. I binge drink. I fucking love writing myself off. Never caused any trouble, never had a drunken fight, never been arrested. In perfect health, havent cost nobody nothing! apart from supporting taxi drivers, bar owners and kebab shops. probably put a few strippers through college too :) med school usually. smart girls.

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  47. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis said:

    gump, eszett, before you start lecturing on economics, understand the market you deal in.

    gump, you cannot compare tobacco and alcohol. You put the price up on piss, people will gravitate to really cheap and nasty piss – and there is too much opportunity in such an unregulated market, with home grown opportunity as well, to regulate the problem away by raising price through taxation. Dont think it doesnt happen, it does – go and stand in the fill your own queue at your local liquor store. You cant price that away, the market just keeps finding ways around it – and unless you make it illegal to make your own, forget it – and want to try policing that? Good luck.

    ————————

    It is possible to regulate the price of alcohol without using excise taxes i.e. statutory minimum pricing.

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  48. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    iMP (439) Says:
    January 17th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    .I’m highly offended by the impact of the supermarket’s legal business on my community, especially young campus students and cars hurtling down Moorhouse ave at 150km per hour tanked up on Vodka.

    At the risk of being totally anal ,supermarkets don’t sell spirituous liquor and as for the speeding etc that’s a policing job that perhaps Al might like to turn his hand to rather than talking to old folk in halls.

    Also a hollow argument re; social responsibility – there a lot of fat bastards out there, do we blame the supermarkets for that as well

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  49. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Raising the price will definitely affect consumption. This has been well proven. The availability of alternatives – bootleg, etc -would not have much impact.

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  50. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    @gump: Did you actually read what I said?

    “It is possible to regulate the price of alcohol without using excise taxes i.e. statutory minimum pricing”

    No its not – its possible to regulate the purchase market. Your comparison of tobacco still fails, given the complexity of growing your own. Any half baked numpty can google making alcohol out of spuds, and thats what will happen – look to Russia for how this works. You cannot regulate markets that have so many viable options around them. For thousands of years people have been making their own piss when they cannot afford or cannot access it off the shelf, or its too expensive.

    Dear god, do try and at least come up with better than one liners.

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  51. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Evidence strongly supports the use of excise tax as an effective strategy to reduce alcohol related harm. Studies have consistently shown that “when other factors remain unchanged, an increase in price has generally led to a decrease in alcohol consumption, and that a decrease in price has generally led to an increase in alcohol consumption.”

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  52. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    mikenmild…

    ““when other factors remain unchanged, an increase in price has generally led to a decrease in alcohol consumption, and that a decrease in price has generally led to an increase in alcohol consumption.””

    When other factors remain unchanged…

    Well, it must work then, because nothing ever changes, does it?

    And this is the point. When you legislate like this, you create market opportunities.

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  53. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6268815/DB-to-raise-beer-prices

    There we go

    Beer prices are being raised, obviously this means all problems solved, no one will ever get pissed again. Sgt Lawn can relax,

    iMP
    Speeding will now stop on Morehouse Avenue.

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  54. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Chris2 at 8.53am,

    further to what Graeme Edgeler wrote, can I just point out that virtually all of the comments you refer to are made in Court and reported by the press, not presented at a media conference. In that situation, as Graeme points out, the defence lawyer is telling the Court what their client wishes them to say, which is entirely appropriate.

    And the prosecutors may not say anything, but the Police do. Witness police press conferences about various cases, especially when one of their own has shot someone.

    On the topic at hand, however, somebody should ask Sgt Lawn what sort of prices are charged in the Police bar at the Christchurch Central Police station. It has been a while since I was in that particular bar, but I seem to remember that the prices are pretty damn cheap!

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  55. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sgt Lawn frequented the Police bar…

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  56. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Dime
    A few years back CHCH also had the biggest methadone programe in the country. Check out the chemists in the early morning if you are ever down here. Aren’t I doing well confirming you and Pauleastbay’s theories.

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  57. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    As well as the three planned outlets there is another planned for nearby. A Henry’s outlet is going in where the service station used to be on the cnr of Avonhead and Yaldhurst Rds.

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  58. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    A Henry’s outlet is going in where the service station used to be

    You’ll eventually get market saturation and some of these outlets will fail. Available outlets have no effect on behaviour anyway. I believe Invercargill still operates on the archaic Trust monopoly system and I’ve never met a bigger bunch of soaks in my life

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  59. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    To believe that limiting the number of licensed premises lowers alcohol consumption requires logical twists unfathomable to me.

    If you know somebody who didn’t buy a bottle of vodka because it was “too far to drive to the store”, then of course I stand corrected.

    If the problem is irresponsible drinking, then we have plenty of laws to deal with disorderly behaviour and crime, and the police should enforce them. If the problem is underage drinking, then all the ridiculous handwringing about the drinking age is of no consequence.

    The real issue is how these underage persons get their liquor. Research tells us that three quarters of the booze comes directly from other family members. With this knowledge, the solution is obvious – limit underage consumption to the direct presence of parents, and make any other form of supply illegal, with stiff penalties for violation.

    We need to start prosecuting irresponsible parents for buying booze for their kids. You start giving some of these folk four figure fines and a month’s Home D and you might find the underage drinking problem goes away very very quickly.

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  60. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    I missed iMP’s comments, as responded to by PaulEB at 12.08pm.

    iMP is wrong. The boy racer problem is not prevalent among ‘campus students’. They generally don’t have the money for modifying their cars. The boy racer problem is generally among those young men in their late teenage/early-mid 20s who have some sort of labouring or trade apprenticeship/job, one that has been paying them a weekly wage since they were 17 or 18.

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  61. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    campus students AND boy racers.

    The issue in Chch is the plethora of liquor outlets clustered around high young adult areas (ala Dunedin drunken fire parties in the strees). We’ve had enough late night bashings brought on by alcohol thanks. If oldies wanna get sozzzled at the RSA fine; but young adults tend to spill out on our streets tanked to the violent enth. It’s about limits.

    The Police -via Al Lawn – are just expressing their frustration.

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  62. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    As well as the three planned outlets there is another planned for nearby. A Henry’s outlet is going in where the service station used to be on the cnr of Avonhead and Yaldhurst Rds.

    That’s one of the three outlets in the area that was being referred to – the disused petrol station around the corner from the supermarket.

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  63. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    Both yourself and Du Fresne are fundamentally mistaken. It is the role of the police to uphold the law and instill respect for it. It is therefore, entirely correct and reasonable for these statements to be made by the police, and these are the same as making statements about the need for appropriate behaviour on the roads. Du Fresne is an idiot for opposing, as well, statements by the police for the need in responsible driving behaviour.

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  64. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    You know, it’s funny how, when you point out that the amount of liquor stores has no effect on liquor sales, nobody actually argues with you. They just ignore you and continue to complain about the number of liquor stores. Very, very strange. It’s almost like… they don’t care about the liquor problem as much as they want to feel like they are doing something! Surely not?!

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