New anti-terrorism measures at Grafton Police Station
PROTECTING Grafton Police Station carpark from terrorist attack might seem like an overstated response to a question about the need for the recently erected steel fence, but local police beg to differ.
Grafton duty officer Inspector Darren Williams said there had been enough incidents, including a man entering the carpark and shooting himself, to warrant the work.
"It's actually a response to the government's anti-terrorist legislation," Insp Williams said.
"It's been in the pipeline for quite a few years actually and now it's built."
Insp Williams said the police were disturbed by an incident in 2016 when a man parked his car in the carpark and shot himself.
"What if he had started to taking potshots at officers getting to and from their cars," he said.
"People say 'it won't happen here', but when you get an incident like that, or the man discovered carrying a loaded pistol near Grafton Courthouse, you realise you're not too far off it."
Insp Williams said there had also been some lighter-hearted breaches of security.
"We've got surveillance of the carpark, but officers can't monitor the screens all the time," he said.
"One night we had someone jump in the back of one of the vans parked out the back and fallen asleep.
"We didn't see him get in, but someone certainly got a big shock when the saw him getting out of the wagon in the morning."
Insp Williams said the fencing enclosed the carpark from the Duke St side of the station around to the side of the Government office block.
A popular thoroughfare to and from Memorial Park, particularly for large events such as Cinema Under The Stars, Anzac Day and during Jacaranda Festival, people would no longer be able to walk through the space between the Police Station and the House With No Steps building to get to Memorial Park and its amenities.