City takes hard line on poor behaviour
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.”