Police Give Beach Hop a Pass Despite 16 Arrests

Written by on March 25, 2024

After increasing their numbers to cater for the large Beach Hop crowds at Whangamata, Police having given the event a pass mark being overall pleased with the behaviour of the thousands of spectators.

Overseeing the operation, Inspector Mike Henwood, said there were a few who attempted to disrupt the festival.

“As usual the event was well run, and the vast majority of people were well behaved and enjoyed a great weekend,” said Inspector Henwood. “Some people attempted to disrupt the overall good behaviour and cohesiveness, these people were issued infringements or arrested in some cases.”

Police issued 52 infringement notices for breaching the beaches liquor ban, and 16 people were arrested on Saturday night for various disorder offences. The Road Policing Team was set up in and around the event to prevent drivers from risking the safety of others by driving dangerously, or by driving intoxicated.

“Five drivers were found to have excess breath alcohol, and several vehicles were impounded for driving offences such as sustained loss of traction.  None of those people were registered participants of Beach Hop,” said Inspector Henwood.

“Late Saturday afternoon an out-of-town youth was taken into custody after he drove a vehicle extremely close to crowds of people attending the Beach Hop parade on Port Road, Whangamata, wheel spinning and refusing to stop for Police. Luckily no one was injured from this incident.”

Inspector Henwood said Police located the vehicle a short time later, where the youth was spoken to and the vehicle was impounded for six months. The youth is before the Youth Court on charges of dangerous driving, sustained loss of traction, and failing to stop for police.

“The disorder, dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol was extremely disappointing, given the overall good behaviour of most attendees. We know intoxication and deliberate poor driving increases the chance of causing harm on the road, and despite a strong Police presence, some motorists still decided to take that risk.

“If you’re drinking don’t drive, it’s not worth the risk it places on not only yourself and those in your vehicle but other road users.”

Inspector Henwood said Police will continue to work hard to keep people safe on our roads, monitoring events, and driving behaviour across New Zealand. Where dangerous driving behaviour is observed, he said Police have no hesitation in issuing infringements or placing drivers before the court.


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