Security scans to be conducted at Wodonga court for the first time

The Wodonga court precinct
The Wodonga court precinct

SECURITY is being ramped up in North East courts amid concerns about violence at the venues.

The Wodonga courthouse ran scanners for the first time on Monday and had new security personal working. 

The security measures will operate each day the court is sitting, with other venues in the region to have similar protocols.

Albury court has had scanners for years and finds banned items, like knives, on a steady basis.

Wodonga registrar in charge Jacki Roche said the upgrades were needed.

“There’s been a lot of security here for many years,” she said.

“They’ve brought it in to make the place more secure as the court grows.

“There’s a need for that security.

“You have parties crossing paths, people who are drug affected, people who are abusive.”

Those entering court may be scanned, frisked, have their bags checked, and refused entry or forced to leave.

Victims can also request escorts to and from the building for their own safety.

Banned items include weapons such as knives, but household goods like forks, tweezers and scissors may be seized.

Some items may be handed back when people leave, but police can charge people for possessing offensive weapons.

Ms Roche said many people were forced to attend court which could make them angry.

“It can be a very volatile situation, especially with family violence,” she said.

Security will also be provided in the courtrooms, freeing up police resources, along with roving patrols in the wider court precincts.

Smaller courthouses will have scaled down security measures to venues like Wodonga and Wangaratta. 

There have been previous incidents in the Wodonga court precinct where police have had to escort aggressive and abusive people from the building, resulting in charges. 

Various items, including a glass photo frame, has also been smashed inside the venue.  

This story Security scans to be conducted at Wodonga court for the first time first appeared on The Border Mail.