11 Feb 2014

Auckland police promise crackdown

7:37 am on 11 February 2014

Police are promising a crackdown on drunken behaviour as Auckland prepares for its biggest public events this weekend since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The new rugby league Nines tournament at Eden Park, the Lantern Festival and an Eminem concert will all happen at the same time.

Tens of thousands of extra people are expected in the city and there will be a major transport and police operation during the weekend.

The move follows what police describe as "a night of mayhem" following the Wellington leg of the rugby Sevens tournament held last Friday and Saturday. More than 300 people were either tossed out of Westpac Stadium or arrested in the central city.

Inspector Gavin MacDonald said on Monday that police would not hesitate to hand out instant fines of up to $250 in Auckland under a recent law change.

Mr MacDonald said organisers for the league tournament and Eden Park are under no illusions that there will be no tolerance of intoxication.

Some 55,000 people are expected at the US rapper's concert at Western Springs alone, with about half coming from out of the city.

Eden Park Neighbours Association president Mark Donnelly said people need to be monitored as they leave the area to ensure families are kept safe.

"There can be some property damage and people trespassing onto properties, but often they're disgruntled that they've been kicked out of the ground and really they need to be monitored as the leave the area, which is very difficult when people head down side streets and residential areas."

Paul Nisbet, from Regional Facilities Auckland, said it can't be predicted how many people will go from the league games straight to Eminem.

Mr Nisbet said a walking route from Eden Park to Western Springs will be established with police and security guards monitoring the crowds. "Those guards will be looking for groups of people or individuals that are intoxicated."

Agencies will try to stop drunk people getting through the gates at the concert, he said.