84 DCC trespass notices in force

Mike Collett
Mike Collett
Abusive library patrons mixing books, booze and brawling are partly to blame for more than 200 trespass notices issued by the Dunedin City Council in recent years.

The council has issued 232 two-year trespass notices since 2011, including 206 at the central city library, of which 70 remain in force, statistics released to the Otago Daily Times show.

Another 21 notices have been issued at Moana Pool during the same period, of which 11 remain in force, and five have been issued at the council's Civic Centre offices, of which three remain in force.

Council libraries customer experience manager Mike Collett said most of those trespassed were involved in incidents of abusive behaviour aimed at other customers or staff, as well as petty theft, vandalism or other ‘‘mindless'' behaviour.

Some had been found to have brought alcohol or drugs into the library.

Court action had followed in some cases, particularly when theft was involved, he said.

‘‘It's generally petty and just mindless behaviour,'' he said.

The number of notices issued each year was not ‘‘out of line'' with libraries in other centres but could be explained in part by libraries' changing patterns of use, he believed.

Offering free internet, in particular, attracted more people who were ‘‘not traditional library users'', he said.

‘‘Then there's potential for behavioural problems and friction between individuals or between them and library staff,'' he said.

Library staff usually issued warnings first, or asked offenders to leave for the day, but recidivists and those who refused to listen were trespassed as a last resort, he said.

‘‘We're reluctant to do it. It's only when people choose not to listen to us.''

Council parks, recreational and aquatics group manager Richard Saunders said Moana Pool was not a magnet for bad behaviour, but ‘‘there will always be ... that element that cause trouble''.

Problems could be expected to worsen over the holiday period, as more people had time to visit the pool, and he urged people to enjoy themselves but respect others.

‘‘Trespass is the last form of action we want to take, if there's no other way to resolve things, just to make sure public safety is maintained.''


Top offences 2011-15

• 22 Involvement in theft (library)
• 4 Threatening behaviour (library)
• 20 Repeated bad language (library)
• 4 Aggressive behaviour (library)
• 20 Inappropriate behaviour to staff/customers (library)
• 3 Incidents involving drugs (library)
• 20 Disruptive behaviour (library)
• 3 Incidents involving theft (pool)
• 18 Incidents involving alcohol (library)
• 3 Abusive behaviour/ignoring rules (pool)
• 15 Damage to property (library)
• 2 Aggressive behaviour (pool)
• 12 Verbal abuse (library)
• 2 Fighting (pool)
• 12 Intimidating behaviour (library)
• 1 Assault (pool)
• 10 Inappropriate behaviour to staff/customers (Moana Pool)
• 1 Failure to supervise dependant adequately (library)
• 8 Bad behaviour (library)
• 1 Having animal inside (library)
• 7 Assault (library)
• 1 Fighting (library)
• 6 Abusive behaviour (library)
• 5 Breach of trespass/other order (library)
• 32 Various unspecified offences (library/Civic Centre)




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