Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Geoffrey Palmer doesn't speak to the cops obviously

From Granny today, another brainfart from Sir Geoffrey:
Being drunk in a public place should be made illegal and fines should be given to those caught, Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer told politicians today.
From the North Shore Times a few weeks ago:
Alcohol bans in public reserves are putting pressure on police and courts.

There were 342 more alcohol-related arrests in 2008 than the previous year after the establishment of overnight liquor bans in a number of reserves.

"The rise in arrests has caused a near unmanageable situation for the courts. Police are also feeling the effects, especially in the custody area," North Shore police area commander inspector Les Paterson says.

You know what, bans are easy in principle but very impractical in lots of ways. It's the easy way out and too many politicians and lawmakers settle for this default position without any thought.

Signed by:

Exasperated.

2 comments:

Nick said...

What I posted over at KB gooner, my thougs exactly....

"Forget that there is already crimes against being disorderly in the Summary Offences Act, Palmer and his merry wowsers will create some more law, and create more duplicate crimes which the police can already enforce.

If you are drunk and disorderly, you can already be charged. If you are drunk and notdisorderly, then WTF is the problem?!?!

Ironic that much of my first year of law was spent reading many of Palmer’s articles- ironically most being about New Zealand’s “hyper-lexis” gland- I.e the vast masses of new law that is churned out each year, without any thought as to whether it will be effective, efficient, or even necessary.

So then Palmer, why the fuck are you trying to criminalise something which is already a crime?! Are we going to have police cruising the streets at night to breath test people? Will there be a limit to what constitutes drunkeness?

Another move by hand wringing wets to ban something which can already be policed, to look as though it is doing something. Fuck. This is the kind of shit we voted Labour out for."

F E Smith said...

Sure, but the Police could exercise their discretion a little more than they do now. Instead of arresting someone for a low level alcohol offence, they could get them to tip it out and move on.

They used to do that in my area, but the word came through to prosecute instead...

That said, I would happily remove the right of the police to arrest for breach of the liquor bans in place around the country, make such a breach and infringment offence and then make public drunkenness a summary offence. At least that would target the actual problem.