14 June 2010
Staff at Christchurch Women's Prison successfully intercepted a quantity of drugs last week which was intended for several prisoners.
“Information gathered through monitoring the prisoner pay phone alerted us to an attempt at a drugs ‘drop’ just outside the prison fence-line,” says Christchurch Women’s Prison Manager Wayne McKnight. “It appears as though the package was left for prisoners involved with a grounds-keeping work party to collect and later distribute.”
“Effective team work led to the smuggling attempt being foiled and this clearly emphasises the benefits of our Operational Intelligence and custodial staff working closely together. As soon as the call came through the information was picked up and staff were able to act immediately to shut down the smuggling attempt, stopping the drugs getting inside the prison to the intended recipients.”
Staff located the drugs in a wheelie bin used by the work party. Individually named packs containing various quantities of cannabis, methamphetamine, a selection of prescription-only medication, and pink powder, believed to be ecstasy, were crammed into a cigarette packet.
“The three prisoners identified as being involved in this incident are no longer part of the work party; we have reviewed their security classifications and they also face the likelihood of Police charges. We hope the information we have passed on also leads to arrests and charges in the wider community.
“I am proud at the speed and efficiency my staff showed in preventing this smuggling attempt. Hopefully their excellent work in this instance will act as a deterrent in the future for other prisoners and their associates who think they’ll get away with smuggling drugs into prison, because they won’t.”
Notes to reporter:
• If anyone is being pressured into bringing drugs or other contraband into prison they can make an anonymous call to 0800 JAILSAFE (from the 21st June this changes to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111)
• Prisoner pay phone calls are recorded and monitored on a random basis
• The Department has the ability to pass any recording of interest to other agencies, such as the Police, IRD or Work and Income
• Calls made to the Office of the Ombudsman, prisoners' legal representatives, Members of Parliament and selected Government agencies are exempt from monitoring.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Phone: (04) 460 3365 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org