No re­open­ing date for po­lice sta­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT - VIR­GINIA FALLON

Porirua po­lice sta­tion has been ‘‘tem­po­rar­ily’’ closed at week­ends since June, and there’s no date for it to re­open.

Po­lice said the clo­sure was to en­able them to in­stall new safety fea­tures, mak­ing changes to the front counter and foyer.

Af­ter a re­view in Septem­ber last year, 121 po­lice sites na­tion­wide were iden­ti­fied as need­ing safety im­prove­ments. Work be­gan in March to cre­ate a safer model that in­cluded CCTV mon­i­tor­ing, bar­ri­ers, alarms, more train­ing for staff and changes to pub­lic en­trances and ex­its.

Act­ing Welling­ton district com­man­der In­spec­tor Paul Basham said work on the Porirua sta­tion was ‘‘ex­pected to get un­der way in the com­ing months’’, but there was no set start or com­ple­tion date.

He did not con­firm that the sta­tion would re­open at week­ends once the work was com­pleted.

‘‘[We] will be re­vis­it­ing the ar­range­ments for pub­lic ac­cess at week­ends once the nec­es­sary work has been un­der­taken,’’ he said.

De­mand for front counter ser­vices on the week­ends was ‘‘very low’’, though he said res­i­dents would re­ceive the same lev­els of ser­vice from po­lice while it was closed.

But Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said he wanted to know when the sta­tion would re­open at week­ends. ‘‘It makes per­fect sense to close while they are do­ing work, but they need to let us know when it will open again.

‘‘The po­lice do a ster­ling job, but if they be­lieve they can change ser­vices for Porirua peo­ple, we would ex­pect sig­nif­i­cant con­sul­ta­tion.’’

Po­lice re­source man­age­ment act­ing deputy com­mis­sioner Al­lan Bore­ham said the changes to the po­lice coun­ters around the coun­try would take up to three years to com­plete.

Po­lice had worked hard to pro­vide safe ac­cess for the pub­lic to more than 350 lo­ca­tions in New Zealand, he said.

‘‘To date, 75 of the [121 sites that need changes] have been vis­ited to con­duct pre­lim­i­nary mea­sure­ments and 45 con­cept de­signs have been com­pleted.

‘‘Hamil­ton Cen­tral’s front counter has been un­der con­struc­tion since Au­gust 15, and will be de­vel­oped as a trial site.’’

Porirua res­i­dents have been ad­vised to call 111 in an emer­gency.

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