Prisoner phone monitoring operations have resulted in the safe recovery of a two-year-old child being hidden by his parents.
The Wanganui child was the subject of a Parenting Order issued by the Wanganui Family Court which required him to be surrendered by his parents to other family members.
The child’s mother refused to comply with the order and Police the child ‘would not be found she told’. However, phone calls made by her to the child’s father in prison revealed the location of the child and Corrections staff were able to pass this information over to the Police.
The calls were monitored as part of the Department’s intelligence-led monitoring operations following a tip-off from vigilant custodial staff.
"Monitoring prisoner phone calls is key to maintaining security at our prison sites. Prisoners are fully aware that their calls can be monitored, there is no excuse for them attempting to conduct illegal or dishonest behaviour from within prison," says National Intelligence Manager Rick McKee.
"This is a fantastic example of how we can work with the Police to stop this type of thing happening and it is great that this cooperation resulted in a young child being recovered and placed in safe care. We are very proud of the efforts of staff involved and how quickly they acted to ensure the wellbeing of the child was not placed at risk.
"Inevitably, being in prison means rights and privileges are restricted, however this doesn’t mean that prisoners contact with the world is completely removed. Prisoners are encouraged to maintain links with family and support networks so they can make a smooth return to the community when they complete their sentences. However, our call monitoring technology means we can identify when this privilege is being abused and ensure that the safety of the public and our communities is being preserved."
Notes to Editors
Telephone monitoring was progressively introduced throughout the country in 2008. Every prison in New Zealand now has phone monitoring facilities.
All calls will be recorded and monitored on an intelligence-led basis. The Department has the ability to keep phone recordings for 180 days under the Privacy Act.
The Department also has the ability to pass any recording of interest to other agencies, such as the Police, IRD or Work and Income New Zealand.
Calls made to the Office of the Ombudsman, prisoner’s legal representatives, Members of Parliament and selected Government agencies are exempt from monitoring.
Successes thus far include charges against prisoners for robberies, gang activity and illegal drug use.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
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