Eagle-eyed overnight staff at Waikeria Prison seized a package of contraband items found in a prison garden over the weekend, stopping it from getting to prisoners.

The package contained a cellphone, lighter, tobacco and drugs, and has been provided to Police to assist their investigation.

“Master Control staff monitoring our cameras identified someone on foot near the main entrance to the site in the early hours of Sunday morning,” says Prison Director Jim Watson.

“Staff went to investigate, and were sped at by a car attempting to avoid identification. All units were asked to check their external areas, and shortly afterwards the package was found.”

“It was a fantastic effort by our staff,” says Jim. “Thanks to the vigilance of the team on site overnight, we were able to intercept the contraband before it could get into the hands of prisoners.”

“Prisoners who are affected by the use of drugs pose a significant risk to the safety of our staff and other prisoners. In addition, the possession or trading of contraband items leads to standovers and prisoner violence.”

Corrections has a wide range of screening methods to prevent and detect contraband including extensive prison perimeter security, camera surveillance, searches of vehicles entering prison property, banning visitors who attempt to bring contraband into prisons and specialist detector dog teams. “The presence of contraband in prisons has an impact on the safety and security of our people, our sites and our communities. This was a great find by the team, and we’re continuing to work with our Police colleagues to hold those involved to account.”