• Napier Aquatic Centre brings in security following torrent of abuse

Napier Aquatic Centre brings in security following torrent of abuse

Incidents of verbal abuse leaving both staff and visitors feeling "unsafe" has forced the Napier Aquatic Centre to introduce extra security guards to help control the situation. 

The Napier City Council owned centre, on Maadi Rd, has brought in Mitai Security guards to work as a "buffer for staff to be able to perform their core job of lifeguarding". 

"Mitai security have been brought in to support our lifeguards to ensure that all our customers have a safe and enjoyable experience, This support takes the form of providing assistance with proactively managing communications with customers and heading off any potential issues before they arise," a Napier City Council spokeswoman said.

The vast majority of incidents relate to verbal abuse of staff and/or customers. The person or persons involved are given a warning and if they don’t settle down are asked to leave the premises.

It is not the first time the centre has had extra security. Last January, a security company was employed by the facility with "some success". 

"The behaviour of some customers in recent years, particularly during the summer period when we are extra busy, has at times made both staff and visitors feel unsafe," the spokeswoman said. 

"Mitai Security have experience in dealing with such problems, that I have personally witnessed as very effective. They behave in the same manner towards all that enter the facility, - polite, courteous, but firm when needed. 

The spokeswoman said the increased security presence is unrelated to the death of a two-year-old boy who died in the days following an incident at the pools on December 5, 2020.