Parents often say they will do anything for their children and this proved correct last week when two parents coming to visit their children were caught attempting to bring drugs into New Plymouth Prison.
The first parent coming to visit their son was found with around 12 grams of cannabis. When told by the prison drug dog handler on arrival at the prison that the vehicle was to be searched, the occupant became agitated and attempted to conceal a package in his pocket. When the drug dog handler demanded the package be handed over the visitor reluctantly gave up the drugs. The visitor was detained, Police were called and he was subsequently arrested.
The second parent to be arrested on the day looked like she was debating coming on site by stopping midway along the prison entrance. However, it was this suspicious behaviour that alerted the drug dog handler. On being told to leave the vehicle so it could be searched, the visitor picked up an item and attempted to hide it in her palm. On seeing this, the drug dog handler asked her to hand over the package. The visitor then attempted to slip the item into her pants but it fell to the ground. The package was found to contain an amount of cannabis leaf. Again, the visitor was detained, Police were called and a subsequent arrest was made.
“Parents should be the last people bringing drugs in for their children but unfortunately this is not the case. We know that people come under immense pressure to supply drugs to prisoners but it just isn’t worth being arrested over. Due to their actions these parents will not be able to visit their children for at least six months.
"You have to ask yourself, is a bit of cannabis worth that and what kind of example are you setting? The other problem is that when these prisoners are eventually released it is important for them to have positive role models on the outside to ensure they remain crime free. We can only hope that these particular parents have learnt their lesson through this incident,” says New Plymouth Prison Manager Peter Madsen.
“Routine visitor vehicle searches are one of many measures we have in place to stop people trying to smuggle illegal material into our facilities. Vehicles are stopped entering the site, and both the vehicle and occupants are searched. I hope that these incidents act as a deterrent to other people considering trying to bring contraband into our prisons. We will find it and you will face the full consequences of your illegal actions.”
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