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

A planting exercise  

Tom Montgomerie has walked the walk – and lunged the lunges. Tom, passionate about tackling climate change, has just donated more than $2700 to the Cambridge Tree Trust after using his skills to tackle a…

Cover up comes early 

The annual display of blankets knitted by members of the local Operation Cover-Up team will take place next Thursday – almost a month earlier than usual. The July 7 display will be at the Cambridge…

Matariki goes off with a banger 

Cambridge Middle School normally treats students and their families to a traditional hangi feast at its Matariki open day – this year, thanks to Covid, it was a sausage sizzle. But although bangers in bread…

Fat Bottomed Girls bust butts for bowel cancer  

After doing her bit for breasts, Debra Jenkins has given bottoms a boost. Inspired by breakfast television presenter Jenny-May Clarkson, the big-hearted local has spent this month exercising to raise money for Bowel Cancer NZ….