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Issued: Wednesday 22 March, 2017
The transportation of high-risk inmates on terrorism offences has been made safer and more secure following a $300,000 investment in two new high-tech prison vehicles dubbed the ‘Supermax on wheels’.
The latest generation armoured vehicles have been custom-built for Corrective Services NSW to escort offenders designated as Extreme High Risk or a threat to National Security.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said each of the vehicles costs around $150,000 and provides maximum protection for escorting officers.
“These offenders who are high risk or in custody on terrorism related offences pose a credible and substantial threat to the correctional system and the community at large,” Mr Elliott said.
“The Extreme High Security Escort Unit provides the highest level of security for offenders being escorted to court or other matters.
“The heavy duty ‘Supermax on wheels’ is just one of a range of measures to ensure the effective management of the risk presented by these offenders.”
The vehicles are heavy-duty and operated by highly-trained officers with specialised weapons and equipment.
Some of the security equipment fitted to these vehicles includes a fitted high-security inmate cell, ballistic protection and satellite communication systems. A range of other features are not disclosed for security purposes.
Commissioner Peter Severin said it is a delicate operation to move these high-risk inmates around.
“Extensive security planning and assessment is undertaken before transporting these inmates,” Mr Severin said.
“Inmates are searched prior to leaving the centre and upon their return.
“The process is about ensuring community safety and security throughout the journey to and from the centre.”
During the escort, the inmate is always in the immediate company of the Extreme High Security Escort Unit staff who control all movements and interactions with the inmate.
Assistant Superintendent Rex Talbot, who manages the unit, said about a dozen correctional officers work in this specialised team.
“All staff are subjected to vigorous background checks before taking up duty or conducting these escorts,” Mr Talbot said.
“They also undergo extensive training in escort protocols, threat assessments, protection principles, counter ambush drills and dynamic fire and movement.”