SECURITY IN FOCUS AT TAMWORTH COURTHOUSES
Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson toured Gunnedah Courthouse this morning to see how $160,000 high definition Audio Visual Link (AVL) technology will improve justice in the region.
“This is a major win for safety and justice in Gunnedah. For the first time, prisoners can appear from jail via AVL reducing the risk of escapes and freeing up police to return to frontline work,” Mr Anderson said.
“AVL gives the court flexibility to hear witnesses from interstate and overseas and vulnerable witnesses giving evidence from a safe, private room.”
Ms Upton said the investment brings Gunnedah Court up to the same standard as Tamworth Court where AVL was installed in 2015 as part of a state-wide $40 million NSW Government investment
“Not only does this make the courthouse safer, but it allows magistrates and court officers to get on with the job of delivering justice services more efficiently,” Ms Upton said.
AVL is operating in hundreds of justice facilities across NSW including 203 courtrooms at 68 locations, saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
Ms Upton said Tamworth Courthouse was also set to benefit from security improvements including a new walk-through scanner, which was installed earlier this year.
“An airport style x-ray scanner was installed at Tamworth to scan people for dangerous items when entering the complex on busy court days,” she said.
“The courthouse walk-through scanner will significantly improve safety at the courthouse and allow for more frequent scanning – particularly when a risk has been identified.”
Mr Anderson said modifying the layout of the foyer will allow Sheriff’s officers to carry out scanning faster and more effectively.
“Tamworth is a busy regional court so it is important people feel safe and secure when they are visiting the complex,” he said.
“Upgrades are also being made to the duress alarms this week to better protect staff and court users and ensure Sheriff’s officers respond to security incidents as quickly as possible.”
On the day tour of Tamworth Ms Upton and Mr Anderson also met with solicitors from Tamworth Legal Aid offices, and a group of local legal professionals.