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Drunk and violent: Booze-infused fights keep cops busy as silly season looms

Tuesday 20 December 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Crime, National

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Drunk and violent: Booze-infused fights keep cops busy as silly season looms
Cook Islands police. Photo: FACEBOOK

Drunkenness played a significant role in violence on Rarotonga over the weekend, and police say booze is fuelling too much unruly behaviour on the island in the lead-up to the festive season.

There were multiple incidents, many in the early hours, with one brawl in town spilling out on to the Main Rd, with several people involved.

The fight, in the vicinity of the T-Shirt Factory, was called in about 1am on Sunday.

Those involved in the altercation continued scrapping despite a police presence.  

Police said the brawl continued uncontrolled until the crowd dispersed.

Investigations are continuing and police had no other details on the matter on Monday.  

Another fight was reported at the Hula Bar about 11.40pm on Friday. Police confirmed they are following up two individuals of interest, being in relation to that incident.

Friday night kicked off with two complaints related to drunken behaviour, excessive noise, and a reported assault on a female.

Police on Monday said the assault on the female is still being followed up. It was reported about 4.30am on Saturday. 

Two more assaults were reported on Saturday, one at 6pm and the other at 7pm.

The earlier one resulted in an arrest in what was described by police as another alcohol-related fight.

The second complaint is being followed up, police said. 

A man was concussed when he crashed his motorcycle at the seawall about 11.10pm on Saturday.

Police are awaiting blood specimen results.

Police staff will be on a reinforced roster from Friday to cover the festive period, as there is ongoing concern that alcohol is fuelling too much unruly behaviour in the lead-up to Christmas.

“One week out from Christmas, and the signs are that alcohol abuse is going to top the list of priorities for Police in keeping the community safe and at peace,” spokesman Trevor Pitt said. 

Police concerns over drunken behaviour, particularly in the town area during the festive period, will also focus on the responsibilities of licensed premises, he said.

“Disorderly behaviour won’t be tolerated, including drinking in public places (anywhere designated as public space).”

Meanwhile, motor vehicle crashes on Rarotonga have cracked the 200 mark as expected this year, heading back to pre-Covid-19 levels. 

With half a month left to round off 2022, reported road crashes stand at 201.

One road incident late last week tipped the total over 200, when a motorcyclist crashed at the Avarua roundabout. 

Police were called at 12.35am on Friday 

A blood specimen was sought from an 18-year-old female driver, who was transported to hospital with injuries.

While the Covid years (2020-2021) reflected a significant drop in the annual number of crashes, the causes of the accidents have consistently reflected poor driver behaviour and attitudes, police reported.

Last month, 49 per cent of the charges brought before the court were for traffic offences. 

Just over 60 per cent of those involved careless driving charges.