I’m fine with Police being undercover in bars

August 27th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences.

While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality Association slammed the move as “creepy”.

Two Central Otago-based police officers — in their mid-20s — visited city bars on Saturday night to check compliance with the Sale and Supply of Act. …

The undercover officers visited six bars in total, with some bars visited twice.

He confirmed those officers were allowed to drink while on duty.

“There is case law that backs up if someone is in a licensed premises, then one drink an hour is appropriate … otherwise you would stand out.”

The behaviour of licensees and staff was largely found to be compliant. One Octagon bar was given a written warning, after serving alcohol to an intoxicated patron at 3.40am on Sunday.

I’m fine with this. Bars shouldn’t serve people who are clearly intoxicated. The only reliable way to check on this is with undercover officers, so I have no problems with this.

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42 Responses to “I’m fine with Police being undercover in bars”

  1. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    A lot easier than dealing with gang crime.

    Or the plague of burglary.

    Time for a clean out of PC affirmative action & politically selected Police management.

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  2. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    They couldn’t have orders a soda and bitters or a tonic and lime? Make some statement about driving or being a responsible drinker?

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  3. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Oh dear, agreement with Red again. Time for a lie down ;-)

    At some point the mere state of being intoxicated, even if sitting quietly and doing no harm to anyone else, itself became criminalised. Not being abusive or aggressive, which I’ve seen plenty of people do stone cold sober BTW. And from memory, when I get drunk I go to sleep, not start a fight.

    Not driving or attempting to drive. Just getting, as an older generation would have described it, “blotto”.

    Now I have no wish to do so myself, nor associate with those who do. And I accept there is harm to the drunken individual, especially if they’re doing so regularly.

    But once again we’ve gone too far in the pursuit of a noble goal (ensuring other patrons aren’t abused or assaulted) and given police another cudgel with which to hammer freedom.

    I’d love to hear how DPF, a liberal on marijuana (as am I), supports the criminalisation of giving someone a beer which they’re prepared to pay for and go sit in a corner and drink.

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  4. Nukuleka (327 comments) says:

    The local give-away Christchurch Star’s headline was ‘Cops Spy…’. Anything to spin nothing into something. Hager will be on to this one before we can say GCSB!

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  5. Gulag1917 (920 comments) says:

    Checking on bars is a long standing police tradition. Need to get rid of the craven PC quota system for recruiting. The police constables are getting smaller and smaller with less and less control over criminals which means they have to compensate with pepper spray and tasers etc.

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  6. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    How is that creepy? ffs

    why do we have laws prohibiting serving drinks to drunks? as long as the drunk gets prosecuted for any crimes they commits later on.. IF they commit any..

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  7. Ed Snack (1,873 comments) says:

    I don’t have a problem either; the law’s fairly plain so if you don’t like it, get the law changed. No easy way to otherwise check them out, going in dressed in blue ain’t going to work.

    Not serving someone who is obviously intoxicated (usually, in a bar scenario, means unable to walk to the bar and order convincingly) is hardly an onerous standard, frankly if you can’t get to the bar and at least act half-way sober, then you don’t need another drink, I think I could say that honestly, you’d regret buying it.

    A bit of a beatup methinks.

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  8. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    The story has been around for several weeks now (covered on TV1 I think) and I disagree massively with DPF.
    I sit with Red, Rex et al.

    If the alcohol minimisation Police (paraphrased) is a product of Collins, then I say she should go…… Before Sept 20.

    But realistically, it is the consequence of wussie, “risk averse” pollies not having the intestinal fortitude to tell the wowser mob to piss off. J H C on a bike, they want to kill the Wellington 7s because of a few yobbos, who are (and have always been) controlled.

    Personally, I have not been in a bar for many (12-15) years. But that is my choice. I prefer restaurants, cafe’s and home. But for those that want to indulge in bars, the Police can take their pejorative attitudes and piss off – back to their well protected “staff bars”. Crap..

    They (POLICE) ought to have a good look at the image of their traffic Nazis to understand where this crap will end. Apart from pious wankers, who accept their statistical bullshit without questioning, they get little or no help from motorists – the flashed lights are still common – whatever. When they need help on drugs, or worse, would be friends will be absent.

    Bush, get off your padded arse, and deal to it – before lunch-time AUGUST 31.

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  9. flash2846 (287 comments) says:

    Once again bars are taking the hit and being the most held responsible for liquor abuse and problems. The law should state that it is illegal to drink alcohol anywhere including at home unless you are eighteen. It should also prohibit the supply of alcohol anywhere including the home to anyone underage.

    Bars cop all the rules, they have no preferential pricing on alcohol, they have to police patrons and provide security and put up with all the shit. And yet they still get targeted.

    I owned a bar up until the Christchurch earthquakes and even back then liquor licencing were robust in their attempts to catch you out. It’s worse now I believe.

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  10. Gulag1917 (920 comments) says:

    This is what happens when the police have got too much time on their hands they go around trying to fill in time by doing such “duties”. Send them to South Auckland to sort out some problems.

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  11. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    Several years experience in the booze industry tells me most of the posters so far are correct.

    The police have a very jaundiced view of the industry and happily allow their prejudices to overcome sense (it ain’t common) where people enjoying themselves is concerned.

    There are obviously far too many police personnel on duty in Dunedin – transfer them somewhere useful.

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  12. Slipster (170 comments) says:

    What do they mean by “intoxicated”? Strictly speaking, everyone in the bar is (customers I mean), that’s what they come there for. If it means some degree of intoxication, the obvious questions become: What degree? Who set it and on what authority? Who measures it and how?

    Without the answers to (at least) those questions, it’s not a law but voluntarism in action.

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  13. yankdownunder (31 comments) says:

    I want that job!

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  14. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    I am also fine with this…as someone else has noted, cops checking bars foes back to methusala…

    Flipper:with all due respect old chap, collins hasnt been minister of police since 2011…

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  15. Slipster (170 comments) says:

    Bringing this technique to its logical conclusion – will they be checking out bordellos too?
    Obviously, will have not to stand out from other patrons either…

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  16. ShawnLH (5,124 comments) says:

    I remember the cops checking on pubs when I was 16 and the pub owner would hide me in the closet till they were gone! That was back in 1983.

    This really isn’t anything new.

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  17. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    Funny how some people don’t seem to latch on to the fact that there is quite a stark policy difference between sending uniformed police to patrol bars and sending them undercover.

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  18. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    DG…
    Talking about Liquor legislation.
    If I have the timing wrong, my apols.
    F

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  19. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Red: Perhaps you can explain it to us Red…the function of the Police is – using all lawful means: 1) to prevent crime occurring; and 2) where crime has occurred, to bring the perpetrator to book…do explain how checking out bars in plain clothes is inconsistent with either of those functions…

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  20. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    There was an earlier time when police were also frequently undercover in bars … generally until two or three in the morning …

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  21. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    DG…

    Perception old chap.

    What is C plod going to do?
    Pull out a breathalyser machine.

    This is just crap….and it is crap law that allows them to do it It was snuck in with no one really knowing….
    It should go, and all those “sworn officers” could do something useful.
    F :-)

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  22. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    What is the point of planting officers to capture people who breach the liquor licensing rules when all the judges do is slap them with a chocolate fish (note not even as severe as a wet bus ticket).

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  23. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “do explain how checking out bars in plain clothes is inconsistent with either of those functions…”

    All relative isn’t it Dave…

    Look at any Police State and you’ll see undercover cops are its mainstay.

    They have their place, but it needs to be severely limited.

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  24. G152 (341 comments) says:

    Maybe this is why they haven’t been prosecuting the recent outbreak of electoral related crimes ?
    The to hard basket ?

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  25. Longknives (4,753 comments) says:

    I’m not sure what the big deal is. I couldn’t give a flying fuck if an Undercover Cop is sitting having a quiet beer in my local…
    I’d rather him there than some gangmember scum.
    If you’ve got nothing to hide then why worry?

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  26. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “If you’ve got nothing to hide then why worry?”

    Yep, one of the most well worn sayings of the derelict Soviet Union.

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  27. 2boyz (262 comments) says:

    When I started socialising (excessively) at bars Friday & Saturday nights (about 100 years ago) ‘Team Police’ used to lurk in and around inner city pubs. Back in those days they seemed to be the biggest and most aggressive cops money could buy, half a dozen officers would rock into a bar, throw out anyone that looked remotely under age or was behaving poorly due to excess alcohol consumption (you knew where you stood).

    It worked well, something to be said about the old days. Much better than effectively spying on what on the whole are law abiding citizens. It’s easy I guess.

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  28. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Go down to the cop shop and report a theft ex car and they will give your car a warrant/rego/ruc check over for free. Dear, lovely cops, all they’re good for is handing out trumpets and talking shit.

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  29. ShawnLH (5,124 comments) says:

    In response to “If you’ve got nothing to hide then why worry?” Red opines: “Yep, one of the most well worn sayings of the derelict Soviet Union.”

    Really. Could you give us a source for that claim?

    “Look at any Police State and you’ll see undercover cops are its mainstay.”

    Wrong. Undercover cops specifically trying to find out peoples political views would be accurate. Undercover cops enforcing the liquor laws are not even remotely related to that.

    This is not an example of a police state. And all the liberal, limp wristed, pansies pissing in their metrosexual panties over it need to get some backbone.

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  30. Gulag1917 (920 comments) says:

    The New Zealand police have had undercover cops as long as they have had a department. Even the most democratic nation on earth will have them.

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  31. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Jack: Do tell us what “trumpets” the police hand out…not familiar with that idiom…

    I can remember cops coming into bars when I first started drinking (illegally)..we never had “team policing” in Gisborne, and I don’t ever remember being thrown out…I remember the thing you DIDN’T do was make for the toilets! That was a dead giveway… I think the de facto rule may have been “show you can drink and not misbehave and we will pretend we can’t see you”…Seemed to work quite well…except of course that we all drove pissed as newts when the lights and fire alarms were turned on at 10.01 pm…

    Someone upthread mentioned undercovers in brothels…they certainly did do that in the 70’s (they were supposed to reveal themselves – as it were – when “extras” were offered but I suspect some of them just took what was on offer)…by the end of the 80’s they had better things to do than bust hookers…

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  32. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Undercover cops and paid/rewarded informers (narks) are scum.

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  33. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Its not an idiom dave, the cops were handing out trumpets to ‘good’ drivers in Dunedin the other day. That reminds me of the time I got stopped by a traffic cop for eating an ice-cream while I was driving. Now they are giving them to ‘good’ drivers.

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  34. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    How many of the bar’s patrons were NOT intoxicated at 3:40am?

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  35. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Jack: Well I never…I suppose something good has to happen if you live in that southern sh..hole!

    RRM: Quite so…pretty unlikely you’d spend hours there nursing two or three drinks…

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  36. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    Canterbury Police have continued an operation focussed at high risk drivers who are part of the Graduated Driver Licensing System aged between 16 and 19 years old and living in the Canterbury District.

    Working in partnership with the Police Infringement Bureau and Canterbury District Health Board, young drivers who have been issued an Infringement Offence Notice are given the option of attending the seminar instead of paying fine*.

    Senior Sergeant Dean Harker said “The first seminar was held earlier this week and was attended by almost 60 drivers with a third bringing their caregiver with them. This allowed us take a more preventative approach by passing on road safety advice rather than issuing an infringement notice for their first offence. ”

    The 90 minute seminar is being held at Christchurch Central Police Station where specialised Road Policing officers are joined by trauma staff from Christchurch Hospital to talk about the effects of crashes both to the people involved, their family and the wider community. A representative from the City Council Road Safety team, a local driving instructor and an insurance representative will also be speaking at the seminar and available to give advice.

    Attendees are encouraged to being their caregiver with them and will also learn how to speed up acquiring their full license, pros and cons of insurance and the consequences of vehicle accidents and peer pressure.

    More of the same damn statist Soviet Union crap.

    Here’s some news for all you prog statists who claim to be Libertarians but daily build a bigger and more intrusive state- The state will never take the place of parents, and the more you try to achieve this, the worse things will become. The more regulations you will need, the bigger govt you will need and the more taxes you will have to pay. When will this fucking madness come to an end???

    Christchurch cops are already well recognised as PC stormtroopers with their unlawful assaults on private property and their over reaching attempts to intimidate people who breach the PC edicts of our elitist power group of media and politicians and academics.

    Seems like the deep Sth is rapidly descending into a culturally Leninist swamp.

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  37. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    Slightly off topic, but speaking of give-aways, it apparently started in South? Auckland and is now in my ‘burg’ and possibly yours….McDonalds will give you a couple of dog biscuits if you have pooches in the car lol. It must have started because the pooches wanted their own burger or heaven forbid their masters. Wouldn’t argue with some of those South Auckland dogs ;).

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  38. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    RRM (9,630 comments) says:

    August 27th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Predatory males?

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  39. Longknives (4,753 comments) says:

    Red- You don’t think teaching young people to drive safer (and even a few scare tactics with the presence of trauma staff) is a good idea?
    Or should people be allowed to drive like fucking idiots if they want to?

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  40. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    You missed the point Longknives.

    Of course kids should not drive like fucking idiots.

    But its their parents job to impart that responsibility to them, not the police’s and not the state’s.

    If we keep on surrendering every parental responsibility to the state where do you think we will end up?

    We have to strike at the root of these problems, not just fritter around the edges.

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  41. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    RRM (9,630 comments) says:

    August 27th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    That is apparently what the guy accused of being responsible for the NZer that fell from the Aussie balcony used to do. Drink water at bars until the wee small hours and then take drunk women home.

    Probably not a bad idea for the police to be around then. I do not agree with all day all night.

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  42. Tauhei Notts (1,714 comments) says:

    Judith at 4.34
    You are correct. The judges do slap them with a chocolate fish.
    But the BIG BIG thing here is when the liquor licence comes up for renewal; that is when some menopausal women or deranged male local body politicians will make the slightly errant liquor licence holder’s life an abject misery. For those jumped up local body politicians are a different breed; they will take the Police reports verbatim; no questions asked. And the Police hate (frequently quite rightly) judges who dish out the chocolate fish. That is why the Police can border on the vindictive when the liquor licence comes up for renewal.

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  43. V (720 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t be too long and we’ll have the undercover cops patrolling the supermarket biscuit aisle making sure the fatties aren’t over indulging.

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