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Threats made to council staffer

An animal control officer’s vehicle was recently damaged in an “aggressive” incident involving a member of the public.

It was one of several incidents reported to Carterton District Council [CDC] involving staff member near-misses, injury, or damage during the past quarter.

CDC chief executive Geoff Hamilton told elected members at a meeting on Wednesday that the animal control incident was “of a very serious nature and resulted in damage to a council vehicle”.

“It involved aggressive and threatening behaviour by a member of the public toward one of our staff members undertaking their duty in the community.”

Hamilton said the animal control officer was visiting a property to talk about seizing a dog.

The dog owner was not home at the time, and the incident involved another person at the property who was “very attached” to the dog.

“The situation escalated very rapidly, and the officer got into his vehicle and turned on his body camera.”

The incident was reported to the police.

“As a result [of the incident], we are reviewing our Working Alone Policy, including monitoring and safety procedures.

“The issue of staff working remotely on their own is already monitored as one of our top five health and safety risks,” Hamilton said.


    Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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