Council takes safety step as abuse rises

Via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 4.0

Closed circuit TV cameras and monitors, duress pendants and buttons, strobes, lockdown devices and sirens are set to be installed at Waipā District Council facilities to combat aggressive behaviour.

Some equipment has already been put in the libraries and customer support areas in Cambridge and Te Awamutu after staff reported an increase in abuse.

In their five-monthly report to the council’s Finance and Corporate committee, health and safety advisor Bev Taylor and human resources manager Stephanie Shores said one of the actions for council to consider, following a SafePlus assessment three years ago was to install duress alarms to provide safe areas in libraries.

This project was scoped from a broader perspective to incorporate the Kihikihi and Cambridge pounds, libraries, other customer support areas and Te Awamutu Museum.

“All of the roles within these areas/departments have significant interactions with the general public and have experienced aggressive behaviours from customers,” the report said.

Earlier this year, the council’s Health and Safety team reported an increase in aggressive behaviour and alerted Council executive.

The executive gave the go-ahead for the team to focus its energy and resources on supplementing staff training with technology to act as a potential deterrent and so staff could protect themselves and those around them.

Security equipment has been partially installed at the dog pounds and work should be complete this month so staff can test the equipment and get training.

Security equipment will also be installed in Te Awamutu Museum next month and will involve a two-day closure of the facility.

Staff logged 66 major and moderate events to the council from last November to March.

More Recent News

Sanctuary Mountain’s big day

About 100 supporters, sponsors and iwi marked the opening of Sanctuary Mountain’s new education centre this morning. Manu Koroki Education Centre has been 20 years in the making and opens a new chapter in teaching…

Museum gems protected

Most objects in Te Awamutu Museum’s collection are safe in climate-controlled storage following the sudden decision to evacuate the museum’s Roche Street building three months ago. Uenuku, a taonga of Tainui and the most valuable…

Storm: how our mayor prepared

Susan O’Regan was only days into her new job as Waipā mayor late last year when she sought a briefing with the council’s Emergency Management team. “There were a handful of things that were very…

United it stands…

A century after a community campaign  saw the establishment of Anzac Green in Te Awamutu, the same spirit is alive and well as plans proceed to save its flagpole. The Green, originally the Memorial Triangle,…