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Banksia Hill detention centre in lockdown after destructive rampage

Liam Croy for The West Australian


Footage courtesy ABC News.

Special operations group officers used flash bangs and pepper spray to end a violent riot at Banksia Hill Detention Centre today - the second riot this week.

The riots have caused an estimated $250,000 worth of damage and prompted calls for harsher punishments for trouble detainees.

A spokeswoman for the Community and Public Sector Union-Civil Service Association said the centre was in lockdown from 12.55pm to 2.30pm yesterday.

She said staff believed it was a planned riot.

Four detainees, aged 17 and 18, barricaded themselves in D-Wing in Urquhart Unit using a table tennis table and chairs.

They ripped doors from cupboards, an oven and a fridge and used them as improvised weapons.

“There were no significant injuries during the incident but there has been major property damage,” the spokeswoman said.

“All windows in the unit have been smashed, cupboards pulled off the hinges, and the fridge and oven doors pulled off.

“The detainees used these items as projectiles against staff.

“The damage is estimated at $150,000 and the wing is now uninhabitable.”

Related: Banksia Hill detention centre: Department, police probe two disturbances in four days

A Department of Correctives Services spokesman confirmed the youths had barricaded themselves inside a wing and sourced “makeshift weapons”.

He said they also had access to hot water which could have been used against staff.

The spokesman said officers used a one-second burst of pepper spray and “pyrotechnic distraction devices” to quell the riot.

The CPSU-CSA spokeswoman said the riot followed a similar incident on Monday when three other detainees caused an estimated $100,000 worth of damage in Harding Wing.

Special operations group officers were also involved in Monday’s riot.

WA Police are investigating.

Security at the Canning Vale centre - the state’s only juvenile detention centre - was beefed up after a riot in January 2013 when more than 100 cells were trashed.

The riot reportedly cost the State Government about $3.6m.

Police officers, a canine unit and the police helicopter were called in to restore order.

In the wake of the 2013 riot, the centre’s male detainees were controversially transferred to Hakea Prison.

Thirty juveniles and five adults were charged with criminal damage.

View original article from The West Australian.

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