Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Safety boost for prison staff and the community

    5/12/2007 2:09 PM

    Security at Albany Regional Prison has been bolstered with the installation of personal duress alarms for staff and an upgrade of the perimeter fence.

    Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk said the improvements brought the prison into line with the State’s other maximum-security male prisons in Perth.

    “This is good news for the people of Albany and surrounding areas, because it means the community is safer,” Ms Quirk said.

    Two layers of razor wire-topped fencing existed at the prison, with the Emergency Support Group conducting regular patrols between the two.

    This has now been enhanced with the addition of an electronic surveillance system.

    “Any movement toward the fence from outside the prison now sets off an alert as an effective early-warning system,” the Minister said.

    “In addition, a dual-layer microwave system operates between the two layers of fencing, detecting any movement in between the two barriers.”

    The installation of personal duress alarms are part of a State-wide roll-out of the safety system.

    Ms Quirk said all prison workers would wear one of the alarms throughout their shift.

    “When activated, the alarm sends an alert to a control panel in the prison's central control room, showing the staff member's location in the prison, right down to cell level,” she said.

    “Officers can also track an individual if he or she moves from one location to another once the devise is activated.

    “Corrective Services staff work in what can be a very volatile, dangerous environment.

    “The Government is reducing the risk to staff as much as it possibly can.”

    The new fence security was installed at a cost of $1.2million, while the duress alarm system cost $500,000.

    Minister's office - (08) 9213 7000