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.’’

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