INDEPENDENT NEWS

New front counter design trialled to improve safety

Published: Wed 21 Sep 2016 07:13 PM
New front counter design trialled to improve Police station safety
Ensuring the safety of Police staff, volunteers and visitors to Police premises is behind a range of front counter safety enhancements being rolled out across the country, with work at the first pilot site now nearly completed in Hamilton.
Over the next couple of weeks, Hamilton Station will become the first Police premises to trial the full framework, including the new front counter design, which is higher, wider and deeper than existing counters.
There are three main components to the new front counter framework:
• Safety by design
Focussing on property features, the most significant change is the new design of the physical front counter, which creates more distance between visitors and Police staff to reduce risk.
• Safety through technology
The physical design of the new front counter will work alongside technology such as CCTV.
• Safety through management
Risk awareness training for Police staff who work at the counter, and an improved operating model.
The full framework will initially be trialled at four Police premises – Hamilton, Christchurch South, Tauranga and Winton.
These sites have been selected due to their diversity in size, location and community profile.
It includes subtle design elements aimed at slowing down a threatening person, as well as more visible measures, such as monitors screening live CCTV footage of the entrance and waiting area to visitors.
The new front counter safety framework is the result of consultation with design and security specialists, and Government agencies, as well as feedback from Police staff representatives, the Police Executive and Police Association.
“The safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and visitors to Police premises is a priority we take seriously,” says Acting Assistant Commissioner District Operations Sam Hoyle.
“The risks staff face are real and we want to be sure we’re doing all we can to reduce them.
Our new front counter framework has been designed with that in mind and I look forward to the feedback from staff at the trial sites over the coming months.”
Work on front counter safety enhancements for the other three trial sites is due to begin in October, starting with Christchurch South.
ENDS

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