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Hurricanes player to help stop Kapiti Coast violence

Published: 6:41AM Tuesday September 18, 2012 Source: ONE News/ Fairfax

A super rugby player has put his hand up to combat alcohol-fuelled violence that has already claimed the lives of two Kaipiti Coast men.

Hurricanes player Dane Coles, who grew up in the town, knows the trouble hot-spot where the young men died - he used to drink at the two bars there.

"Over the years it's kind of got worse," said Coles.

"People having punch-ups and then resorting to the killing, and you know no-one should be, no-one's life should be taken."

Coles knows the brother of Izak Millanta, 17, who was killed six weeks ago.

Another Paraparaumu man, Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, was stabbed to death at the weekend.

Tristim Lee Eastham, 24, a labourer from Waitangirua, appeared in Porirua District Court yesterday charged with Strongman-Lintern's murder. He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody.

Hurricanes hooker Coles said he wanted to do something to help stamp out the violence in the area.

"You know, it's a great place, there's some great people up there," he said.

"But something needs to be done, because like I said before, no-one's life should be taken ever again up there."

Police are also stepping up their efforts, boosting the number of patrols in the area of the late night hot-spot.

Initiatives discussed

At a meeting between the council and police today a number of initiatives were discussed to combat the violence.

The council will now conduct what it calls a 'crime prevention through environmental design audit' of the Kapiti Lights area this week, to see what changes can be made to make it safer.

Kapiti Coast Mayor Jenny Rowan said the initiatives included better lighting in the private car park area, increased CCTV surveillance, the need for a bylaw imposing a formal liquor ban in the general area, an increased police presence, and offers of support.

"This was a conversation about how we as a community should respond," she said.

"It was not about blame. It was about showing leadership and a way through.

"What we don't want and must not have, is another tragic incident."

The owners of the Monteith's bar have indicated they will install more lights and extra CCTV cameras at the western end of the car park area.

Other initiatives brought to the table, include a community bus.

The council is also looking at a formal liquor ban for the general area backed by a by-law, she said.

A private liquor ban already covers the private land area of Kapiti Lights and is enforced by staff from the two local bars but with limited results.

"The problem we have is the Kapiti Lights car park area is private land and this does provide a limit at the moment on what both council and the police can do," Rowan said.

"However, we have a meeting planned with the property owners tomorrow to discuss this and a range of issues."

Rowan said police had substantially increased their presence on the ground in the area and would be enforcing zero tolerance.

"The police have been absolutely marvellous and have a very good grasp of the issues involved," she said.

"However, it is clear we have a group of young men who drink too much and resort to violence with tragic outcomes.

"The police are well aware of who the individuals are. The challenge now is to re-direct their energies into more positive outcomes."

Area commander, Inspector John Price, said police would be "highly visible" in the area.

"We will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to disorder, possession of offensive weapons and intoxication," he said.

"Anyone caught breaking the law can expect to be arrested and face a night in the cells.

"We want the community of Kapiti to be safe and feel safe.

"We know the community is feeling the deaths of Izak and Sean deeply.

"I want the community to be assured that police are totally committed to working alongside the council, partner agencies and the community as a whole, to find a solution, to ensure no more lives are taken in such tragic circumstances."