Body cameras for parking wardens
‘‘We want to do everything we can to keep our people safe.’’
Parking wardens in Porirua will soon start wearing body cameras to help avoid further violence.
The city’s wardens and animal control officers have been trained and equipped with body cameras as part of their uniforms to minimise the risk of harm to staff and the public by encouraging positive behaviour.
Their introduction follows an attack on Wellington warden Kenneth Anderson, who was left unconscious with a fractured eye socket and a broken nose while working outside a Newtown school on April 6.
Though the cameras were already planned, the council’s general manager of policy planning and regulatory services James Jefferson considered them timely.
‘‘Like that officer, our staff are decent, hard-working men and women who are just trying to serve this community, making it a better place to live and work in, and they deserve to feel safe while they’re doing that.
‘‘Unfortunately there are times when council officers can be faced with verbal abuse, threats and physical assaults, so we want to do everything we can to keep our people safe.’’
The cameras only record when manually turned on by officers and the public must be told they’re being switched on.
The accused daylight attacker of Anderson was working on a primary school construction site.
Stuff can confirm that Rawiri James Emery, 39, was working for a sub-contracting firm on a major development at Newtown School when the alleged attack happened.
He appeared in Wellington District Court charged with injuring the parking warden with intent to wound on April 6 outside Newtown School. He was remanded for two weeks without pleading.
The alleged attack left Anderson unconscious with a fractured eye socket and broken nose. He needed surgery to reconstruct part of his face and Wellington City Council confirmed on Tuesday it would be three to four weeks before he would return to work.
He was scheduled to have 35 staples removed from his skull on and was getting counselling.
A Naylor Love spokesman confirmed Emery was working at the site, though he was a subcontractor and not directly working for Naylor Love.
All workers on the site had been vetted for working at a school, he said.
A witness to the alleged attack said Anderson was walking in Newtown when the attack happened.
‘‘What was great for me was seeing two parking officers there within minutes, along with police and ambulance.’’