Corrections staff at Manawatu Prison on Wednesday night thwarted an attempt to “throw over” contraband, including a suspected cannabinoid substance, into the prison.
On Wednesday 4 October, a car with three occupants drove into the prison car park, and a man was identified allegedly attempting to throw packages over the prison’s perimeter fence. Among the items found in the packages were suspected cannabinoids and mobile phones.
“Our search teams did a great job of intercepting the packages and preventing them from entering the prison,” says Prison Director Mark Cookson.
“There is no place for drugs in prison. They create a more dangerous working environment for our staff, and prevent prisoners from engaging in rehabilitation, education and employment opportunities.
“Preventing contraband entering prison is an ongoing challenge. Despite there being security cameras focused on the exterior fence line, and the various tools and resources we have available to prevent contraband coming onto the site, some people will still risk their freedom trying to do so.
“We also have a good working relationship with our neighbours at Linton Army Camp and Manawatu Police, and we are grateful for their assistance on Wednesday night.”
Police spoke with two men at the scene and are making inquiries into the location of the third man.
It’s the second attempt to introduce contraband into Manawatu Prison in recent weeks. In September Corrections staff and a detector dog searching incoming prisoner mail at the prison found a package of chess pieces packed with a cannabis leaf and oil.
Contraband in prisons includes tobacco, alcohol, communication devices, drugs, drug paraphernalia, tattoo equipment, and weapons. It also includes some everyday and seemingly innocent items that while not illegal, may be used inappropriately by prisoners.
A range of methods are used at prisons across New Zealand to prevent drugs, weapons and cellphones from entering. They include 24 detector dog teams operating across the country, x-ray technology, telephone monitoring of prisoners’ calls and single points of entry to sites.
“We encourage anyone who is being pressured to bring drugs into a prison to report it to anonymous crime reporting line Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111,” says Mr Cookson.