29 Nov 2010

Mayor supports alcohol ban after concert violence

9:58 am on 29 November 2010

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker supports a police call for alcohol to be banned from large events at Hagley Park, where a concert on Saturday night was marred by violence.

A 15-year-old boy was stabbed multiple times, including three times in the face, and a police officer suffered five hairline fractures to his jaw and face after he was hit when he tried to break up a fight at the Christmas in the Park concert.

Police say that, in contrast, there were no problems at October's alcohol-free Band Together concert in Hagley Park, despite it being attended by almost twice as many people as Saturday's event.

Mr Parker says the Band Together concert showed such events don't need alcohol to be successful and if police feel a permanent ban is the best way to prevent future violence, he'll put that to the council.

The Area Commander for Christchurch Central, Inspector Derek Erasmus says 40 police staff were at the concert on Saturday, including youth workers and officers.

He says police have had the same number of staff at similar events, such as last month's alcohol-free earthquake charity concert, and the difference was not staffing levels but alcohol.