Police lost the plot on this one

Stuff reports:

Cracking a cold one after a game of bowls may become a thing of the past if Wellington police have their way.

After decades without any alcohol-related incidents, several bowling clubs across the region have found themselves in a battle with police over the renewal of their liquor licences.

It’s about time the Police did something about those rampaging drunken 80 year olds terrorising locals with their sprees of violence and burglaries.

MPs from all sides are not impressed:

Hutt South MP Chris Bishop fielded several emails and social media messages over the weekend from those concerned about the future of the clubs and the police’s seemingly “heavy-handed” approach.

“It sounds like an overzealous interpretation of the [Sale and Supply of Alcohol] Act to me … they [police] are really reading the act in quite a technical way rather than using common sense,” he said. …

O’Connor, a former police officer and current MP for Ōhāriu, said he had spoken with the Wellington Police District Commander on behalf of the bowling clubs after being made aware of the situation on Friday night.

“To be fair to him, I think I brought some things to his attention that he wasn’t aware of,” O’Connor said.

“I’m always aware there are two sides to every story but I think the police side needs to reflect some reality … if there are clubs that are abusing their privileges, deal with them individually.”

This just shows that some elements within the Police have become zealots. Their opposition to licenses should be based on if a licensed premise has been following the law, and has any history of alcohol related problems. To object to the licence of every bowling club in Wellington is nuts, especially when they’ve gone decades without complaints.

Bishop had not ruled out drafting a members bill to address the current situation and said he would attend the Bowls Wellington AGM on July 30 where police planned to brief the region’s clubs all at once.

The legislative fix is very simple. You delete S103 of the Alcohol Supply and Sale Act. That section requires the Police and Medical Officer of Health to be notified of all applications and to inquire into each application.

Just delete this requirement.

If the Police or a Medical Officer of Health wishes to proactively submit on an application, they could still do so – as could any other member of the public.

But the Police and MOHs have become such zealots that they should forfeit their special legislative role.

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