Gang regalia banned
Security boosted after staff, patients intimidated
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.