Go on, invite the Police to your party

Why would Canterbury students invite the Police to their parties 1000 times? It’s all in aid of having a good time that people remember for the right reasons.

Created in 2014, the Good One Party Register aims to ensure each party is a “good one” by promoting a positive relationship with Police and providing tertiary students with tips to help host a good party. A joint scheme initiated by Police in Christchurch to reduce the number and frequency of calls to out-of-control parties, it has recently registered its 1000th social gathering.

The multi-agency initiative is so successful it’s won a policing award. The Good One Party Register won the “Excellence in Reducing Harm from Crime” category at the 2017 Evidence-Based Problem Oriented-Policing (POP) Awards, late last year.

Pictured from the left to right: UCSA Acting President Laura Robinson, NZ Police Senior Constable Logan Steele, Good One Party Register winning flatmates UC students Mackenzie Johnson, Zeb Barry, Jerome Novak, and Jack Zarifeh, and UCSA Student Wellbeing Representative Laura O’Dwyer. 

The milestone of the 1000th party registered has been celebrated with the presentation of a prize for the 1000th party host to register on the Good One website. Reece Stanton, who is studying for a conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Bachelor of Commerce degree at UC, has won a week of gourmet dinners from My Food Bag for him and his four UC Engineering student flatmates, Mackenzie Johnson, Zeb Barry, Jerome Novak, and Jack Zarifeh, as well as goodie bags for each of them.

The Good One Party Register reduces the likelihood of problems on the night and means any issues can be more quickly and easily sorted, according to Police.

Senior Constable Logan Steele, the Canterbury District lead for the Good One Party Register, says it’s a fantastic example of preventative policing, and the 1000th party registered needs to be celebrated and recognised.

“A large purpose of the Good One Party Register was to improve the fractured relationship police had with the local student population, and that between the students and other members of the community. This, along with other initiatives, has done just that,” Senior Constable Steele says.

“The fact that the register has reached this milestone is a testament to the effectiveness of the initiative and the continued collaboration and support it receives from its stakeholders.”

The Good One Party Register is a collaborative initiative, including the Police, University of Canterbury, Ara (formerly CPIT) and Lincoln University and their students’ associations, Canterbury District Health Board, Health Promotion Agency, Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Youth Collective and Red Frogs, a support network for university students.

The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) Acting President, Laura Robinson, says the register has been well received by the UC student population, who see the benefits of establishing a good relationship with the police.

“When parties go wrong, it may not be the hosts’ fault but they’re the ones who are likely to be left with the damage to clean up. Sometimes you get gatecrashers and situations can quickly get out of hand, so it’s good to know the local Police are there to back you up,” Ms Robinson says.

“I remember the Tea Party last year the biggest all-day event of the year and Good One ran a competition with the UCSA so that every flat that registered a pre-party got a free breakfast delivered to them – this was a real personal highlight that I experienced from the initiative.”

Back in 2011, Police were attending out-of-control parties every weekend that involved students. Police worked with students and other residents to identify solutions to the problems at parties. The introduction of the Good One Party Register in 2014 was popular with students and resulted in fewer problems at parties. Since then more than 1000 parties have been registered.

Between 2011 and 2016 in Riccarton West, Christchurch, complaints of disorder and noise fell 54 and 22 percent, according to Police, while Fire Service callouts fell 95 percent.

Sergeant Steve Jones of the Riccarton Neighbourhood Policing Team was pivotal in establishing the Good One Party Register in 2014.

“I’m really pleased the register has had such an impact. Members of the Riccarton West community were becoming frustrated with anti-social behaviour in their area, and it’s great that by working together we’ve been able to help them be safe and feel safe.”

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