Gang re­galia banned

Se­cu­rity boosted af­ter staff, pa­tients in­tim­i­dated

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Gang patches have been banned from Toko­roa Hos­pi­tal.

The Waikato District Health Board has banned the wear­ing of gang re­galia from all of its hos­pi­tals.

‘‘Nurs­ing staff have been very ap­pre­cia­tive of the rule which al­lows them to do their jobs with­out in­tim­i­da­tion,’’ Waikato board se­cu­rity man­ager Dean Ria said.

The ban fol­lows an in­ci­dent in Waikato Hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment over the hol­i­days in which ex­tra se­cu­rity staff were brought in to con­trol a group from Paeroa.

Emer­gency depart­ment nurse man­ager Jenni Yeates said a sit­u­a­tion de­vel­oped af­ter a pa­tient, who had been hit in the head with a ham­mer at a party, ar­rived with ‘‘a heap of sup­port peo­ple with him’’.

‘‘It be­came very in­tim­i­dat­ing for staff and other pa­tients,’’ Ms Yeates said. As a re­sult Mr Ria said all gang re­galia in­clud­ing patches or gang colours must now be re­moved in­side all Waikato board hos­pi­tals. He said se­cu­rity would also clamp down on unau­tho­rised vis­i­tors and hawk­ers at board sites.

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