Quick action from a staff member at Auckland Central Remand Prison earlier this week foiled a prisoner’s plan to escape from custody.
The staff member intercepted information suggesting the prisoner was going to pretend to be unwell, hoping for an escort to hospital, on Tuesday evening.
“The prisoner thought a trip to hospital would provide him the chance to escape from Corrections Officers. He had colluded with his gang associates and they were supposed to be waiting at the hospital to help him,” says Assistant Regional Manager Grace Smit.
“The officer involved took what they heard as a very real and genuine risk to safety, and immediately alerted prison management. Our Operational Intelligence team were able to listen to a number of the prisoners recent phone calls which corroborated the officer’s information. Prison Health Services staff were briefed on the ruse so that an escort to hospital could be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
Later that day the prisoner notified staff that he was feeling unwell. He was assessed by Health Unit staff but remained in his cell for the night under close observation incase he was genuinely unwell. Police searched the hospital for the armed men who were to assist the prisoner, but nothing untoward was found.
“This particular prisoner is due to be sentenced for previously conspiring to escape lawful custody, so he’s dedicated. Most prisoners in our custody accept that they are in prison. The majority don’t like it, but realise that attempting to escape will only compound they trouble they are in.
“Due to this event, we have looked closely at his management and decided that due to the risk he poses, he will be moved to maximum security at Auckland Prison.”
“The officer that alerted us to the situation did an excellent job, and the swift response from the prison meant we were able to manage the situation safely and protect the safety of the public and our escorting staff. Our focus now is on assisting Police with their enquiries as they look at pressing criminal charges again the prisoner, and ensuring that any further chance he has to escape is minimised.”
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