AustraliaStolen Don Dale keys still missing after eight-hour riot by detainees

11:43  08 november  2018
11:43  08 november  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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Twelve detainees at Darwin's Don Dale detention centre gained access to keys for the entire facility during a significant security breach that left windows smashed and infrastructure © Provided by ABC News About 12 detainees damaged Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, with some climbing on the roof.

The Don Dale Youth Detention Centre is a facility for juvenile detention in the Northern Territory, Australia, located in Berrimah, east of Darwin. It is a maximum security prison for male and female juvenile delinquents.

Stolen Don Dale keys still missing after eight-hour riot by detainees© Provided by ABC News Smoke is visible around the centre as emergency crews respond.

A set of keys to the Northern Territory's largest youth detention centre are still missing after a group of detainees stole them from a guard and sparked an eight-hour riot.

In the early hours of Wednesday, police released tear gas on Don Dale Youth Detention Centre detainees who escaped from their cells, set the facility's school on fire and used angle grinders to cut fences in an attempt to escape.

Today a Territory Families spokesperson confirmed they had been unable to relocate one set of keys taken from a youth justice officer ahead of the riot, because they had been unable to access the area — which is now a crime scene.

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The final detainees have been removed from Darwin’s Don Dale Detention Centre following an eight - hour standoff that saw riot police called in and parts of the facility set on fire. While no official statement of the incident has been released, Sky News has seen a letter passed out from the facility

A BUILDING at the controversial Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin caught fire during a riot late last night that police struggled to contain. NT police were last month called to investigate after reports a group of detainees had caused damage and stolen keys . Smoke is seen coming from Don

"As soon as Territory Families is able to access the facility, a full-centre sweep of the area will be conducted," she said.

"Our priority is to locate the set of keys."

Meanwhile, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency spokesman David Woodroffe said it was able to secure bail for one girl last night.

Bail applications were made for three other children this morning, which are expected to be decided this afternoon.

An application for reconsideration of sentence has been made on behalf of one child.

None of the detainees have yet been charged over the riot.

Detainees remain at watch house

Almost the entire population of the youth detention centre remain at the Darwin police watch house and no plans have been put forward to move them.

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The Fake Riot . In August 2014, there were widespread reports of a riot at Don Dale . Corrections Commissioner Ken Middlebrook told the media six Similarly, five hours after the incident, police were were told multiple " detainees had escaped their cells, caused significant damage and assaulted staff

Multiple detainees have been removed from Darwin's notorious Don Dale Youth Detention Centre where Police have quelled a major disturbance at Darwin’s notorious Don Dale Youth Detention Centre after About three hours later flames and thick smoke could be seen billowing from the facility.

Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield said 25 children are at the watch house, while one female detainee was placed in a separate facility.

Despite the facility being out of action, courts are continuing to refer young offenders to the youth justice centre, with another detainee going into custody and straight to the watch house last night.

Ms Wakefield admitted it was not an ideal setting.

"What we're doing at the moment is making sure we've got some other options up our sleeve, which will mean we've got some options if it is too long to keep children within the watch house," she said.

"The emergency plan has always been to use watch house facilities, that is the plan right throughout the Territory."

Northern Territory Police Association president Paul McCue said the situation was "unacceptable".

"It's a short-term holding facility and our police are now the ones having to supervise what are long-term detainees," he said.

NT police called to incident at Don Dale

NT police called to incident at Don Dale Police have been called to a major incident at Darwin's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and are trying to resolve the situation with inmates.

Two more former detainees are also suing Don Dale , but their cases are being heard separately because apart from mistreatment, the plaintiffs complain of involuntary deprivation of liberty at the facility.

Police dressed in riot gear have entered the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory following reports of a large-scale detainee disturbance. Police and tactical response were called just before 7pm to respond to a "major incident" inside the facility.

"It's not acceptable and they need to come up with an alternate solution fairly quickly."

NT Children's Commissioner staff visited young people in the watch house and said they will continue to visit every 24 hours.

Moving the detainees to the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre was ruled out as the facility is one short of being at capacity — with 17 young people currently being held there.

The Department of Education is believed to be delivering school work to the young people, and options for exercise "were being assessed".

Ms Wakefield said the department had been in touch with families and said they had been giving the children access to legal services, although there are only two interview rooms in the watch house.

Head of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT), John Paterson, said an "urgent" solution was needed.

"We are concerned about the transition between the corrections-type model to this youth development model," he said.

"We believe half the problem that we saw the other night was caused by this punitive lockdown, keeping the youths in their cells for long periods of time during the day. That would cause any person to get upset and angry."

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Riot police storm notorious Don Dale juvenile detention centre after inmate disturbance Police have been called to Don Dale Youth Detention Centre after a disturbance A building at the detention centre was set alight after a disturbance on Tuesday Up to 15 police cars arrived at Don Dale Detention Centre, in the Northern Territory, just before

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Concerns CCTV server may be destroyed

Ms Wakefield was concerned the facility's CCTV server may have been destroyed in a fire during the riot.

She and Territory Families chief executive Ken Davies visited Don Dale on Thursday morning, although they were unable to access the buildings as it remained a crime scene.

"From initial screens it does look like there isn't significant structural damage except to the education building," Ms Wakefield said.

"However, we are concerned about CCTV because there is a server housed in the education building.

"Until we get in and have a good look at the extent of the damage and how quickly we can get that CCTV up, that will have an impact on how quickly we can get back into the facility."

'Why does it keep occurring?'

Territory Families chief executive Ken Davies described the unrest on Tuesday night as an "extreme" incident.

He said the centre was fully staffed on the night.

But Mr McCue, from the NT police union, said the situation should have been avoided entirely.

"We've gotta ask the question — why? And why does it keep occurring, and who's responsible?" he said.

"That's just simply not good enough. We need a proper facility to avoid these things in the future."

The Community and Public Sector Union said a recruitment drive had addressed understaffing.

But it said half the staff at Don Dale were inexperienced and training for new officers had been progressively cut from six weeks to four.

"In terms of the young people that were involved, with the young people at this particular incident, there was a combination of very senior staff in there, experienced staff in there along with more junior staff," Mr Davies said.

"There would have been officers in there that had four weeks' training."

He reiterated the challenge of an archaic key system in the facility.

"The doors would need to be completely refitted. Introducing an electronic keying system is just not an option in this facility," he said.

"We're going to have to manage it, we're going to have to work out processes going forward.

"But at the end of the day, we need a new facility that's modern and contemporary, that allows electronic locking down of areas when incidents occur."

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