City's database to help Police
By JONATHON HOWE, Manawatu Standard
13 May 2009
Contacting building key holders in emergencies has been made easier by the introduction of an innovative electronic database in Palmerston North.
The archaic paper files used by police to store the contact details of key holders from Palmerston North businesses were inaccurate and time consuming, Neighbourhood Support field officer Warren Wealleans said.
But the new database, created by Palmerston North web designers Spinning Planet, would speed up response times by allowing police and civil defence staff quicker access to buildings.
Staff at the police central communications centre in Wellington were now able to supply the details of registered businesses on request.
"The old system was so far out of date it's not funny, it was useless," Mr Wealleans said.
Businesses registered on the database would also receive electronic newsletters with information about crime prevention issues, criminal trends and suspicious people and vehicles.
The Palmerston North database was the first of its kind in New Zealand, Mr Wealleans said.
"It's important in Palmerston North because we are so susceptible to earthquakes and floods. Hopefully it will catch on and be used by other areas."
Palmerston North Area Commander Inspector Pat Handcock said the database was an "incremental improvement" on the former system.
"It's very, very difficult to keep a manuel system up-to-date.
"The new system will mean we will be able to keep the records more current than we have done in the past."
A total of 27 businesses have registered on the database to date.
Businesses can register on the key holder database by completing an online registration form at http://www.pnns.co.nz