15 May 2009

Government pledges $9m for court security

9:12 am on 15 May 2009

Courts Minister Georgina Te Heuheu has announced an extra $9 million to upgrade court security over the next four years.

The money, to come out of this month's budget, will allow an extra 30 court security officers to be employed - plus additional security equipment.

Georgina Te Heuheu says New Zealand's 350 courtrooms are emotionally tense environments with an ever present risk of incident.

She says new funding will help improve safety for court users and staff while maintaining public confidence in the justice system.

In addition to the extra staff, walk through metal detectors, baggage scanners, radios and CCTV are also to be invested in.

The Public Service Association says it welcomes the move but it shouldn't come at the expense of other ministry jobs.