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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1655..

Quamby Youth Detention Centre-perimeter security

(Question No 1358)

Mr Stefaniak asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 4 March 2004:

(1) Did a couple of young persons recently escape over the electric fences of the Quamby Youth Detention Centre; if so, how did this occur;

(2) What steps have been taken to ensure that the perimeter of Quamby, and in particular the Quamby fence is secure;

(3) Was there any fault detected with the electric fence; if so, has the fault been repaired; if not, why not;

(4) What steps are being taken to increase perimeter security at Quamby in relation to further improvements to the electric fence.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to Mr Stefaniak's question is:

(1) There have been two escapes in the last five years. The first occurred on 28 October 2003 and the second occurred on 4 January 2004. One of the escapees was involved in both incidents. On both occasions the residents scaled the electric fence.

(2) Additional staff have been engaged for each shift tasked with the specific responsibility of overseeing centre security. This increase to staffing will be reviewed regularly with the potential to further increase staffing during periods of high resident numbers or when the mix of young people in detention present additional management challenges. The designated duties for the additional staff include: patrolling the external perimeter; assisting with escorts from the centre; reporting on security issues at the end of each shift; identifying security limitations; removing any loose objects from the centre that may be used to prop up against the fence, including items from outside metal or woodworking areas; and, continuing to conduct random searches of resident rooms.

(3) There was no fault detected with the electric fence. However, all aspects of security at the centre including the physical structure, the technological limitations and operational procedures currently in place are being reviewed as part of the Quamby redevelopment. The current electric fence at Quamby has been in operation for approximately six years and an examination of the potential for upgrade has been undertaken as part of a security review. The present fence is functional, however, advancements in technology for electric fencing are available and recommendations made by the security consultants are in favour of replacing the current fencing.

(4) The security review and the increased staffing detailed in parts (1) and (2) will increase security at Quamby.

Quamby Youth Detention Centre-escapes

(Question No 1359)

Mr Stefaniak asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 4 March 2004:

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