- Operation Haven held on weekend to search visitors coming to all WA jails
- Operation uncovered drugs, weapons and contraband
- Criminal charges now pending against visitors
- Six visitors to be banned from visiting WA jails after successful operation
Visitors to Western Australian jails on the weekend are now facing possible criminal charges and prison bans following the highly successful Operation Haven.
The operation involved Corrective Services prison officers, the Drug Detection Unit and the Special Operations Group who searched visitors and their cars at every prison across the State.
Visitors were also drug tested.
During the operation, a woman was allegedly caught with a trafficable amount of cannabis in her car outside Hakea Prison and is now subject to a police inquiry.
She will also be banned from visiting any prison in the State for six months.
Five other local prison visit bans are pending following the discovery of other contraband including clip-sealed bags containing crystal-like substances, a glass smoking implement, knives, knuckledusters, syringes and multiple mobile phones in one vehicle.
Of the 18 prison facility carparks searched during Operation Haven, eight returned contraband finds.
Many of the other visitors caught with contraband are subject to a police inquiry and criminal charges may follow.
WA Police are still finalising their investigations into which charges will be progressed.
Operation Haven is part of the McGowan Government's new drug policy and commitment to increasing efforts at reducing drugs and contraband in WA's jails.
In the year to December 11, 2019, there have been more than 135,000 visitor searches conducted at WA prisons with almost 330 contraband items being seized.
Most of the contraband items (209) were seized during targeted visitor carpark searches, with drug paraphernalia and drug-related items being the most prevalent.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"Around 100 items of contraband were seized during this significant operation and none of that will now hit the streets again or the WA prison system.
"I saw firsthand at Hakea Prison how our prison officers, Drug Detection Unit and Special Operations Group thoroughly searched visitors and their cars.
"If you are on prison land, you can be searched and drug tested, which includes in the carpark.
"I am amazed that people were carrying some of the items in their vehicles including what appeared to be trafficable amounts of cannabis, knives, smoking implements and syringes.
"These people can now be banned from visiting their loved ones or friends in jail for up to 12 months.
"Or worse, they can go from being a visitor to a prisoner themselves.
"If they think they are helping those inside by trying to smuggle contraband and illegal drugs to them, they are not.
"The McGowan Government is committed to the ongoing war against drugs and contraband getting into our jails, and I warn anyone visiting our jails that there are more steps to come including expanding who gets tested for drugs.
"We will not let up in this battle."
Minister's office - 6552 6300