Australia: Stolen Don Dale keys still missing after eight-hour riot by detainees - PressFrom - Australia
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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.

Man killed during riot in Ali Curung, as cars set on fire and up to 100 reported fighting: Stolen Don Dale keys still missing after centre remains at a Darwin police watch house, as authorities admit keys to the facility are still missing since a group of detainees stole them from a guard and sparked an

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

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"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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Escaped detainees set fire to the school and used angle grinders to try and cut their way out of the youth detention centre. Chaos erupted at the notorious Don Dale Youth Detention centre last night after two inmates attacked a guard, stole his keys , and released dozens of detainees from their cells.

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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.

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The facility is named after Don Dale , a former Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 1983 to 1989 and one-time On 6 November 2018, a major disturbance broke out at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.[25] Detainees escaped from their cells by stealing keys and attempted to

"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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Up to 25 youth detainees could be transferred to the troubled Don Dale detention facility by the end of the week, authorities say, as the scale of the damage from Tuesday's riot is revealed.

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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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