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Prison visitor risks all to conceal contraband from Corrective Services NSW officers

Publication date: Tuesday 20 February 2018

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Corrective Services NSW officers have thwarted an alleged attempt to introduce contraband into a Sydney prison by a would-be visitor who wound up in hospital after ingesting the items.

The 23-year-old man, who is now facing court over the incident, arrived at Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre about 9.40am on 15 February, and was met by officers and K9s from the CSNSW Security Operations Group conducting screenings.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott praised staff for their exceptional work, which included removing a syringe protruding from the man's mouth.

"Correctional officers have no idea what they'll face each day at work and this is a prime example of the excellent job they do responding to difficult situations," Mr Elliott said.

"People will go to any lengths to smuggle contraband and avoid getting caught but the lesson here is very clear – it's simply not worth the consequences.

"Instead of spending the morning visiting a loved one, this individual had a trip to the hospital and is now facing criminal charges."

After allegedly refusing to remove his hands from his pockets and acting aggressively towards staff, officers were forced to restrain the man, during which time he transferred concealed items into his mouth.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin congratulated staff for responding to the situation quickly and professionally.

"Staff have done a fantastic job dealing with someone who allegedly thought they could walk into a prison with a pocket full of contraband," Mr Severin said.

"Unfortunately some people continue to ignore our warnings and learn the hard way that our staff are out in force, waiting and watching, and ready to catch anyone who tries to compromise the safety and security of our staff and prisons.”

NSW Police and NSW Ambulance attended the site before transporting the man to hospital for further medical assessment after he started showing signs of rapid intoxication.

A quantity of unknown substance was ingested by the visitor, while the following contraband was successfully retrieved by officers:

  • one syringe;
  • a quantity of tobacco and
  • pieces of clear plastic.

The man will now face court charged with introducing a syringe into a place of detention and attempting to bring a thing into place of detention without authority.