Issued: Friday 30 September 2016
An intensive security and intelligence operation undertaken by Corrective Services NSW paid off last night when a mobile phone was seized from the cell of an inmate in the state's most high security prison.
Following the detection of a mobile phone in the library of the High Risk Management Correctional Centre in Goulburn on 15 September, correctional officers with the assistance of specialised Security Operations Group officers have ramped up efforts to detect and remove contraband and in particular mobile phones.
The team launched a search on a cell at the HRMCC yesterday after a hand-held mobile phone detector picked up mobile signals.
Acting Assistant Commissioner (Security and Intelligence) Angie West said when officers entered the cell, the inmate attempted to flush the phone down the toilet but this was swiftly prevented and the phone secured.
"Staff approached the cell by stealth, which caught the inmate off guard," Ms West said.
"All staff involved in this operation are to be congratulated for their hard work in removing a significant security threat from the centre."
Acting Assistant Commissioner West said prisoners will go to extraordinary lengths to introduce contraband and an inmate mostly likely introduced the miniature phone to the centre through internal secretion methods.
"Inmates who gain access to contraband when housed at other correctional centres have been known to secrete items internally and our staff cannot undertake internal searches," Ms West said.
Mobile phones pose a significant challenge to correctional officers across the globe. Staff must remain vigilant and keep a few steps ahead of the inmates to successfully eradicate mobile phones from correctional centres. This includes using new technology when it is proven to be effective.
Acting Assistant Commissioner West said CSNSW was working on a procurement plan to commence mobile phone jamming at Goulburn Correctional Complex following a successful trial at Lithgow Correctional Centre.
"We have been working with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to finalise the technology that will be introduced at Goulburn," Ms West said.
"With funding now available to extend that Lithgow trial to Goulburn and approval from ACMA, inmates will soon not have the same incentives to smuggle mobile phones into the centre."
No further details will be made available with a NSW Police investigation underway.