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Full Screening At Auckland District Court

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 3 NZPA - Everyone will be screened as they enter Auckland District Court from today.

Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu said fulltime screening would start at Manukau District Court later this month and at the Christchurch Courthouse in October.

"Everyone, except judges and uniformed police officers, coming to these three courts will be electronically screened every time they enter, just like at airports, by walking through a metal detector and having their bags x-rayed," she said.

"The screening is designed to reduce the risk of weapons being brought into the courthouse and increase safety for all court users."

The screening was being paid from $9 million set aside in last year's budget to cover equipment and extra personnel.

Mrs te Heuheu said the Justice Ministry worked closely with the Law Society to ensure the screening does not cause undue delays, impact on lawyer-client privilege or lawyers' role at court.

Eight additional Court Security Officers were hired, bringing the national total to 72, with a further 11 this financial year.

Mrs te Heuheu said the ministry's building programme was also improving security, for example, putting in single access points.

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