12 Oct 2010
Hawke's Bay Regional Prison and Police joined forces last week to conduct searches on a significant number of prison visitors and their vehicles to deter visitors from introducing contraband into the prison.
“Corrections has a number of initiatives in place to prevent drugs and other contraband entering prison. These include vehicle checkpoints, visitor searches and the use of drug-detector dogs which means the chance we will find it just isn’t worth the risk,” says Prison Manager George Massingham.
“The joint operation between Corrections and Police resulted in 190 visitors and 140 vehicles being searched.”
“In order to keep our communities safe we need to work together, and this is yet another example of the Police and the prison working together to ensure contraband isn't being introduced.”
“Visitors were excluded from the prison for a variety of reasons: two were excluded for possession of drug utensils; one visitor was excluded for threatening behaviour, and one visitor was excluded and warned by Police for trace cannabis remnants found in a vehicle. In addition, one visitor was found by Police to have a warrant out for their arrest after Police checked their car registration and personal details, and they were subsequently arrested.”
“Police also issued over $4800 of infringement notices for vehicle related offences. Two vehicles were impounded, two people will face court action for driving offences and two drivers were forbidden to drive due to licence breaches. Three drivers licences were also seized due to excess of demerit points and a vehicle impounded after being written off the road due to it's poor condition.”
“This was a great effort by prison staff and Police to reduce the risk of contraband being introduced into the prison. As a prison we are constantly working to prevent contraband entering our area and the initiative shows that Corrections and Police are committed to working together to prevent drugs and other contraband from entering prisons.”
“The majority of the prisoners we manage have long histories of substance abuse and often pressure their friends, family, and acquaintances to supply them with drugs and contraband,” says Mr Massingham.
Prison checkpoints are set up in car parks and on roads leading into prisons, and are conducted regularly by every prison around the country to search anyone visiting the site and their vehicle. On occasion Police attend these operations and carry out checks on vehicles and issue infringement notices to non-compliant vehicles and drivers.
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