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Pool staff concerned for safety

The recent spate of bad behaviour at Masterton pool has seen pool staff express concern for their safety.

It was noted in a recent Masterton District Council [MDC] agenda that Masterton pool staff have experienced some stress after multiple incidents in January and February resulted in police call-outs.

“All lifeguards and front counter staff have been affected by these incidents and have voiced their concern for their safety. The centre manager has been supporting her team through this.”

In January, the Times-Age reported on an incident captured on video that saw police remove a 14-year-old from the pool.

Councillors learned on Wednesday, however, that the incidents were not isolated or unique to Masterton.

MDC community facilities and activities manager Corin Haines said Belgravia Leisure, which manages Trust House Recreation Centre, has seen increased behavioural issues across the complexes it manages nationwide.

“The comments [made by Masterton staff] relate to January and February. Typically, in any given week, the operator there may need to call the police occasionally. Generally, it results in the situation diffusing,” he said.

A council spokesperson confirmed there had been no serious incidents reported recently, but noted that in February, police attended the pool after staff made a precautionary call regarding a person believed to be suffering mental health issues.

“As previously stated, the priority for pool staff is the health and safety of all pool users. They are trained in all aspects of this, including customer relations.”

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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