Courts Minister Chester Borrows today welcomed the opening of a new-look lobby at the Manukau District Court.
The design repositions the court’s baggage x-ray unit at a new purpose built entrance to the building. It creates a better flow of people through the lobby and on to the defined spaces each housing the Family, Youth, and District Courts.
“The improved lobby will help people move throughout the court while still ensuring that all Court users are screened when entering the building,” Mr Borrows said.
All court users entering the courthouse through the public entrance will need to walk through a metal detector and have any bags x-rayed. International best practice dictates that all court users be screened, every time they enter the courthouse, even if that is several times a day.
Owners will be asked to produce any items of interest for further inspection. Items can be temporarily surrendered, but if the item is an offensive weapon, the police will be involved.
The x-ray unit is part of court security improvements funded by the Government in Budget 2009 to the sum of $9 million over four years.
“The aim of these measures is to prevent potential weapons getting into our courts,” Mr Borrows said.
“We’re committed to robust security in New Zealand’s courts, and making our buildings safer for all court users.”
Almost 300,000 bags have been x-rayed at Manukau District Court since baggage x-rays were introduced on 20 September 2010. Over that period, 1701 items identified as potential weapons have been taken into temporary custody.