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Internet cafes to become safer for everyone

Internet cafes to become safer for everyone

Auckland City Council is taking a closer look at Internet cafes after recent concerns that they have potential social and public health issues particularly related to young users.

An evaluation of the by-law controlling amusement galleries will be fast-tracked in view of the social consequences involved and the district plan definition of these facilities will be reviewed.

Councillor Juliet Yates, Chairperson of the council’s City Development Committee says, “Some of the cafes are causing concern as they become gaming halls for youths to hang around in. As times have changed and the popularity of these facilities increases, the potential for serious issues to arise is of concern”.

Council and other agencies such as the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) and the New Zealand Police are also aware of problems with some Internet cafes.

Key issues relate particularly to children, including health issues such as smoking on-site, food and beverages being consumed on-site and the provision of suitable sanitary facilities.

“I’m also worried that some sectors of the community perceive the facilities as unsafe and a reason for not using other much needed services surrounding the cafes,” said Mrs Yates.

The council’s compliance monitoring group will in the meantime investigate these issues and other possible non-compliance relating to Internet cafes.

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