INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rugby World Cup - look after yourselves

Published: Tue 6 Sep 2011 02:52 PM
Rugby World Cup - look after yourselves
The Rugby World Cup is not just about the games, it's about New Zealand taking centre stage with the whole world watching; the overall social experience.
Unfortunately that social experience will inevitably be coupled with a greater consumption of alcohol and an increase in the risks to personal safety. That's why Central District Police are encouraging people to have fun but plan their nights out while they are still sober and able to make sensible and rational decisions.
"We don't want our safe towns and cities here in Central District to be in the headlines because of alcohol-fuelled offending," said Operations Manager Inspector Dave White. "We want the stories to be about united celebration, highlighting New Zealand's social conscience and pride.
"We will have large numbers of visitors from different countries in the District and different cultures have their own beliefs and interpretations around alcohol and social interaction. It would be a real concern if we found people coming to harm because innocent situations were being misconstrued."
In regard to overseas visitors:
• Research the countries and cultures of those visitors featuring in your town, show an interest in them and look out for them.
• Some will not be familiar with the concept of a Liquor ban area. Make an effort to explain what it is and the fact that they are liable for arrest if they breach it.
• Be aware that cultures can differ greatly. A simple flirtation in New Zealand might indicate something completely different in another country. Innocent actions or words in some cultures may be offensive in others.
• In every town or city where there is a game there will be winners and losers. Don't let sport be divisive; share in each others celebrations and commiserations.
If you are going out for the evening:
• Let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back.
• Arrange safe transport to and from your location, whether that is a designated sober driver, taxi, bus or dial-a-driver.
• Never accept a lift from someone you don't know or have just met. Licensed taxis will be clearly marked.
• If a friend has had too much to drink don't just put them into a taxi or leave them, go with them to make sure that they get home safely.
If you aren't taking a taxi home:
• Make sure you walk home with friends and not on your own.
• Keep to well-lit areas.
• Consider purchasing a personal attack alarm to carry with you.
• Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
If you are driving:
• Don't drink and drive - it's not just the risk of getting caught, a significant number of fatal accidents involve alcohol.
• Make sure you have a designated sober driver and if they don't stay sober make alternative arrangements.
• Never get into a vehicle when you know or suspect that the driver has been drinking.
While you are at your venue:
• Keep all valuables close to you and out of sight; it takes just a second for an opportunist thief to steal a wallet or handbag but can take a lot of time and money to replace bank cards, driving licence, keys and so on. It is advisable to only take with you what you really need for the night.
• Keep a constant eye on your drink. Spiking is rare but it can happen. If you lose sight of your drink, drain the remains away and get a fresh one.
• Never accept a drink handed to you by a stranger.
• Try to drink water or a non-alcoholic drink with every alcoholic one. It will help to keep you alert and will also help to fend off a hangover.
• Stay with your friends and look out for one another. If you move to another venue make sure you don't leave any of your friends behind alone.
• Stay out of trouble!
Rugby games in Central District are:
11 September - Ireland v USA - New Plymouth at 6pm
15 September - Russia v USA - New Plymouth at 7.30pm
26 September - Wales v Namibia - New Plymouth at 7.30pm
28 September - Georgia v Romania - Palmerston North at 7.30pm
2 October - Argentina v Georgia - Palmerston North at 1pm
ENDS

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