Police reviewing safety of stations

Changes may be in store for Otago's police stations after police announced a nationwide review of station safety.

This month's edition of Police News, a magazine published by the Police Association, said police were reviewing the safety of all stations in response to ongoing concerns from staff.

The association has been lobbying for years for work to be done on station safety.

Police national manager of wellness and safety Stu Duncan confirmed the review was taking place, but offered few details on what prompted it or when it was expected to be completed.

''Police are undertaking a review of the front counters and building security at all police stations across the country,'' he said.

''The review of all police facilities, with public access, will determine where additional safety measures would be required and to establish policy and guidelines for the safe design and operation of front counters within police stations to prevent harm.

''We are consulting with districts and the Police Association but we won't comment on the specifics of this at this stage, but can assure the public and our staff that safety is our number one priority.''

Police rushed to install security screens in the newly opened Wanaka Police Station in late 2013 after staff raised concerns about safety and ease of access at the station.

The Police Association said the safety review was being undertaken as a ''matter of priority''.

A working group for the review had been established and included association representatives.

''The association welcomes the move, particularly the acknowledgement from police that employee safety must be prioritised above its more recent policy of providing a customer-friendly, open environment at front counters in newly built stations,'' the association said.

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