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Chester Borrows

29 November, 2012

Investment in court safety produces big gains

Investment by the Government to improve court safety has resulted in significant improvements, Courts Minister Chester Borrows announced today.

Between 2009/10 and 2011/12, security incidents in courts have fallen by 35 per cent, with serious incidents down 63 per cent.

“Those who go to court should be able to feel safe, whatever their reason for being there.  That’s why we’re investing in additional court security where it’s needed, and I’m pleased to see that investment paying off,” says Mr Borrows.

The Court Security Improvement Programme, approved as part of Budget 2009, has provided $9 million over four years to improve court security.  This has funded a further 45 Court Security Officers, eight new walk-through metal detectors, and ten new baggage x-ray machines.

“This new investment has allowed courts to triple the number of people screened before entering the courthouse, and increased the number of weapons seized by more than 30 per cent,” says Mr Borrows.

“This underscores the message that violence at court will not be tolerated.  It’s a very pleasing result, and I congratulate court security staff on their efforts.”

ENDS

Background information

Courthouses receiving new walkthrough metal detectors have been: Hastings; Kaikohe; Porirua; New Plymouth; Gisborne; Invercargill; Nelson and Greymouth.

Courthouses receiving new x-ray baggage screening equipment have been: Christchurch; Palmerston North; Napier; New Plymouth; Whangarei; Wanganui; Gisborne; Waitakere; Hamilton District Court; and Auckland High Court.

 

FY 2008/09

FY 2011/12

Court Security Officers

54

94

People searched

410,633

1,304,664

Potential weapons removed

5333

7008

Total security incidents

557

361

Serious security incidents

211

78