Tauranga police will be putting a significant effort into policing the Exodus New Year's Eve concert at Papamoa East.
Police area commander Clifford Paxton said the concert was expected to attract about 7000 people and was a different demographic to the crowd attracted to the New Year's Eve celebrations at Mount Maunganui.
Mr Paxton and Senior Sergeant Joel Lamb of the Mount Police briefed a council meeting yesterday on the city's summer policing operations.
Mr Lamb said the organisers of Exodus ran a tight ship at the rain-affected concert last New Year, with a lot of security in place. The few arrests were people who had been evicted from the concert and tried to get back in.
Summer policing ran from November 26 to January 13, with everything building up to the New Year's Eve events at the Mount and Papamoa.
Mr Paxton said the focus was to prevent crime and road trauma, and maintain law and order. An alcohol complaints team had been created so that the police would be on the front foot to deal with problems.
There would also be an additional tactical response group on duty from December 17, bringing the numbers of units deployed around the Western Bay of Plenty to six between now and early January.
Mr Paxton said arrests were coming down and it was a case of police getting alongside the community to help them enjoy the evening. New Year's Eve arrests had gone from 278 in 2009 to 213 in 2010 and 110 last year when the main event at the Mount was rained out.
The processing centre behind the Mount station would be open for only three days this summer.
Mr Paxton said police were being issued with ipads or iphones in order to maximise the time spent on the street, instead of having to return to the hub to deal with paperwork. It meant less time in the office and more time on the street being visible. Road policing units had been using the technology for some time.
Councillor Terry Molloy said a group was wanting to hold an activity on The Strand, with the potential for a lot of fun. However, he said, that with alcohol, there was also the potential for a lot of problems.
Mr Paxton responded that alcohol-related events brought a "particular demographic" and often it was managing the anti-social behaviour that happened after the event finished, such as when people were walking home.
There were pros and cons with these things and police had to take a level-headed approach. "Often it was not the events themselves - events can be run reasonably well."