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Banksia Hill increases guards

Extra staff and armed guards were deployed to Banksia Hill Detention Centre last night as emergency meetings continued in the wake of Sunday night's riots.

Community and Public Sector Union-Civil Service Association branch secretary Toni Walkington said "13 additional officers and four emergency support groups" had been stationed at the centre. It is understood ESG officers are equipped with riot gear, such as batons and pepper spray.

"We've secured additional staffing for the night shift. We needed it because the security of the cells and units has been seriously compromised," she said.

Extra staff and armed guards were deployed to Banksia Hill Detention Centre last night as emergency meetings continued in the wake of Sunday night's riots.

Community and Public Sector Union-Civil Service Association branch secretary Toni Walkington said "13 additional officers and four emergency support groups" had been stationed at the centre. It is understood ESG officers are equipped with riot gear, such as batons and pepper spray.

"We've secured additional staffing for the night shift. We needed it because the security of the cells and units has been seriously compromised," she said.

"The ESG are the people who are kitted up, have weapons and can intervene.

"It's now been returned to an emergency situation. That enables chemical agents to be used in the event of any detainees threatening staff."

A Department of Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed extra staff had been deployed.

Ms Walkington said she was satisfied with last night's arrangements, but said there was a long way to go before the centre was secure.

The destruction caused to Banksia Hill during Sunday night's riot, which damaged about 100 cells, prompted the DCS to move 71 juveniles to isolated units at Hakea Prison.

But one of WA's ambassadors for children, Aboriginal leader Ted Wilkes, said shifting juveniles from Banksia Hill to the Hakea adult jail was "outrageous" and called on Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper to find an alternative arrangement.

Source: thewest.com.au

 

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