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News and media releases 2019

Drug operation at Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison

13 September 2019

Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison’s new drug detection team uncovered methamphetamine and weapons in its first carpark search today.

An intelligence driven search of a car in the prison’s visitor carpark led to the discovery of 0.2 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and weapons including knives.

The prison's new Drug Detection Officer along with her drug detection dog Ziggy, started at the prison last week, with today being the pair’s first operation targeting the visitor carpark.

A woman aged 30 was attempting to visit her partner, when the drug detection team targeted her car.

Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall said he was pleased to see a result from the new team so soon.

"This is an example of what is happening every day at prisons across the State,” he said.

"Our staff are using a wide range of intelligence-gathering platforms to inform their operations and stop drugs from entering prisons.

"Our growing team of drug detection officers and dogs is just another tool we are using in the fight against drugs,” he said.

WA Police attended Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison, where they interviewed the 30 year old woman and took possession of the drugs and drug paraphernalia. The weapons were confiscated by prison security staff.

"Intelligence led searching along with routine searching of prison visitors is used to maintain the good order and security of staff, prisoners and facilities,” Commissioner Hassall said.

In addition to unannounced searches by the Department’s drug detection teams, staff, prisoners and visitors across the State are subject to searches by prison security staff.

"In 2018/19 we conducted almost 6,000 search activities across the estate,” Commissioner Hassall said.

"Drugs, drug paraphernalia and items that can be used as weapons have the potential to result in the death of or cause serious injury to prisoners, prison officers or other staff.

"There is no place for drugs in Western Australia’s prisons. If you attempt to bring drugs into prison, they will be found. Don’t go from visitor to prisoner,” Commissioner Hassall said.

The Department’s tough new drug strategy is three pronged. It aims to target the supply of drugs into prisons; deliver more treatment programs to drug users in custody; and equip prisoners with the tools they need to remain drug free on release.

Last month the Department celebrated its first full year of operations at Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison, the State’s first dedicated alcohol and other drug treatment facility for women. The first dedicated facility for men is currently under construction at Casuarina Prison.


Media contact:
Kylie Keenan – 9264 6396

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