(L-R): Programme Manager Prison Population and Manager of the Prison Population team Matt Gibbs, the two First Security officers, and Principal Adviser Prison Population Paul Smith.Corrections recently honoured two First Security officers in Auckland for successfully preventing the attempted escape from lawful custody of a Mount Eden Corrections Facility (MECF) defendant from Auckland District Court.

“Their stand-out response especially demonstrated our Ara Poutama Aotearoa value of kaitiaki,” says Programme Manager Prison Population and Manager of the Prison Population Team Matt Gibbs, who presented the officers with an award. “Their swift actions saw them being not only responsive and responsible, but also guardians of both the prisoner and the safety of the wider public.”

The incident, for which the two First Security officers were acknowledged, occurred on 28 September 2020. The defendant had been escorted from MECF to Auckland District Court by First Security, who also managed him in the court.

“CCTV footage I saw, showed the defendant spontaneously jumping out of the dock and attempting to run out of the court room during the hearing,” explains Matt.

“In the security camera footage, you could see the two First Security officers responding immediately to stop the prisoner from leaving the court room, then using approved control and restraint techniques to restrain him. We were impressed with their vigilance and quick response.”

“Police, court and other First Security staff then helped secure the defendant. The whole process was completed professionally and effectively, and the defendant was returned to the prison without further incident.”

Their manager, National Manager Justice Sector Services David Seadon, praised their actions.

“First Security is proud of our officers’ actions during this incident. By applying their training and considerable custodial experience, they were able to prevent a potentially dangerous situation and ensure that the court staff, public and prisoner were kept safe.

“Both staff members are exceptional Prison Escort and Court Custodial Services (PECCS) security guards. This award further highlights the strong and collaborative relationship First Security and the Department of Corrections have developed over the term of the PECCS contract.”