City takes hard line on poor be­hav­iour

Geraldton Guardian - - NEWS - Francesca Mann

Peo­ple be­hav­ing in an an­ti­so­cial or vi­o­lent way while us­ing City of Greater Ger­ald­ton fa­cil­i­ties could face pros­e­cu­tion af­ter a new pol­icy was en­dorsed by coun­cil­lors.

The En­try Con­di­tions Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Build­ings pol­icy de­tails con­di­tions that ap­ply to any­one us­ing City fa­cil­i­ties in an at­tempt to en­sure the safety of staff and com­mu­nity mem­bers.

Ac­cord­ing to brief­ing notes, over the past year the City has iden­ti­fied that around one-third of safety in­ci­dents re­ported within City fa­cil­i­ties re­lated to a se­cu­rity is­sue.

These se­cu­rity in­ci­dents gen­er­ally re­lated to an­ti­so­cial or vi­o­lent be­hav­iour to­wards City em­ploy­ees, vis­i­tors and prop­erty.

Cr Natasha Col­liver put for­ward the mo­tion at the Septem­ber 25 coun­cil meet­ing, not­ing it was dis­ap­point­ing that the pol­icy was needed.

“It’s sad there’s a need to pro­tect our staff af­ter the be­hav­iour of a small hand­ful of com­mu­nity mem­bers,” she said.

Posted signs dis­play­ing the con­di­tions of en­try will be in­stalled at City fa­cil­i­ties, stip­u­lat­ing that peo­ple may not “be­have in a man­ner which causes a nui­sance”.

The pol­icy notes that peo­ple can only use record­ing equip­ment in­side City build­ings if they have writ­ten per­mis­sion or are at a pub­lic cer­e­mony.

Peo­ple who breach the pol­icy will be asked to stop, and those com­mit­ting se­ri­ous breaches will re­ceive a writ­ten no­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the pol­icy, if a per­son fails to do any­thing re­quired or di­rected, they may be pros­e­cuted and fined. The City will also have the power to deny fu­ture ac­cess to City build­ings.

In brief­ing notes pre­sented to the coun­cil, City chief ex­ec­u­tive Ross McKim com­mented there had been sev­eral in­stances in the past year in which peo­ple had not be­haved ap­pro­pri­ately.

“Some of these be­hav­iours in­clude tak­ing photos and video­ing coun­cil cus­tomer ser­vice of­fi­cers,” he wrote.

“City of­fi­cers have in­stalled sig­nage ad­vis­ing that these be­hav­iours are not ac­cept­able . . . and if a vis­i­tor does be­have in this way, they will be asked to leave.

“If they do not leave, of­fi­cers will call se­cu­rity or po­lice.

“We have been ad­vised that to be able to legally en­force this ac­tion, the City needs a pol­icy sup­port­ing it.”

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