1 Jul 2009

Court security plans could be brought forward

8:22 am on 1 July 2009

The Minister for Courts says plans to increase courthouse security could be brought forward following a stabbing on Tuesday.

A man slashed his own neck as he left the dock at the Wellington District Court, using a knife that was hidden in his sock.

Almost $10 million was allocated for court security in the Budget.

Courts Minister Georgina Te Heu Heu says a roll-out of additional security was scheduled to start in September, but could begin sooner.

She says the Wellington District Court will be one of the first to receive the new security.

However, District Court Chief Judge Russell Johnson says the Government has not ear-marked sufficient funds to eliminate weaknesses in the court security system.

He says weaknesses in security allow people to enter court houses with concealed weapons.

Judge Russell Johnson says the Budget funding will provide more guards and scanning equipment.

But he says it won't be enough to guarantee the safety at the 66 court houses in New Zealand.