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Police statement re claims of station closures

Police statement re claims of station closures

Media statement from Acting Assistant Commissioner District Operations, Bruce Bird

In response to a number of media queries received today, claims that 16 stations in Auckland will close is incorrect.

As outlined in a statement issued by Police last week, a new set of infrastructure design features are being introduced to enhance safety at police front counters. The new features are designed to deal with the most likely threats at publicly accessible police premises.

The safety of Police staff, volunteers and visitors to our premises is of paramount importance and is a real priority for Police.

While many of our front counters have some of the required infrastructure design features already in place, a number need enhancement and/or redesign and we have a project underway to develop a consistent nationwide plan to achieve this.

Our review of existing infrastructure has highlighted a number of premises where more immediate practical steps are needed to increase security. There are 105 stations we have identified in this category around New Zealand. For operational reasons, we will not be releasing locations of the 105 stations.

What is required will vary from station to station, but may include positioning of CCTV to cover the entrance and front counters, and installation of duress alarms at front counters.

In some of these stations, one of the options may be to limit public access at times when constabulary staff are on the premises.

This does not mean the stations will permanently close, but the public access at some stations may be, as an interim measure, restricted to those times when a constabulary/authorised officer is available to work at the front counter.

Some districts have also taken the opportunity of looking at community kiosks which are only manned by volunteers, and some of these will be closed until the completion of a more comprehensive audit as part of the front counter safety project.

The front counter safety project is absolutely not about cost savings.

It is about the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We note that a Police employee was recently subjected to a very violent attack in the front entrance of Counties Manukau station recently, so the risks to our staff are very real.

This work is also not in response to the recent legislative changes. Police announced the front counter review project last year, in response to concerns being raised by our own staff.

We refer media to the full statement issued by Police last week: http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/improvements-police-station-safety

ENDS


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