The grey ones are trying to limit Auckland’s night life.
Auckland police are calling for council to set bar closing times at 3am. Council want it to remain at 4am. Punters and bar owners? Well, most of us would like to have a drink when we would like to have a drink, really.
Eric Crampton reviews the standard arguments for forcing bars to close earlier. He has found in summary
that changes in regulated hours of operation shifted the timing of harms with no particular effect on their severity.
That’s a guarded way of saying that punters would get an hour less fun for no effect whatsoever on any of the issues that concern the police.
Eric has much more on the detailed reseach front, including the very sobering point that the so-called one-way door policy that police are also calling for in both Auckland and Wellington has all-but killed off Sydney’s famous nightlife – pedestrian traffic in King’s Cross for example being down a whopping 84% since 2012!
“Every week, another venue or restaurant closes. The soul of the city has been destroyed,” says Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie.
That is precisely what the police would like to do to New Zealand’s major cities, just to make their own jobs easier.
But the job of the police is not to dictate behaviour to suit them, but to what is necessary to protect the rights of Joe Passerby when you and I and engaging in whatever behaviour we choose to indulge in? That indulgence being our business, right, not theirs? – just as long as we’re not initiating force on anyone else, of course.
In other worlds, their job is to to do their job, not to mind our own business.
I think very often both the police and licensing authorities need reminding of that.