Malmsbury: Riot police storm juvenile prison to suppress riot

Inmates during the riot at Malmsbury.

12 Jan – A riot at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre came to a dramatic end on Thursday night, with heavily armed police storming the facility.

Six inmates were arrested after rioting at the facility.

Teenagers at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre during the riot.

Police were called to Malmsbury at 1.50pm after the inmates armed themselves with metal poles and locked themselves in a secure exercise yard.

The situation came to a head shortly before 6.30pm, when heavily armed riot police carrying shields stormed the facility.

Six inmates were arrested and brought out by the riot police shortly after.

Riot police prepare to enter Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre.

A police spokeswoman said the six inmates would be interviewed on Thursday night, with control of the facility due to be handed back to prison guards.

The whole centre had been put in lockdown to prevent any trouble spreading, sources said. The centre has capacity for 135 juvenile inmates, and is close to full at present.

A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said the perimeter of the centre was secure. He said the incident was safely resolved without any injuries to staff or young people.

Teenagers inside Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre.

The incident is the latest in a string of riots to hit the state’s youth justice centres.

Last September, rioting prisoners scaled the roof of the Malmsbury centre, about 100 kilometres north-west of Melbourne.

Violence erupted again at the facility in October, when a group of youths ripped benches from their fittings and armed themselves with metal legs before taunting guards.

Also last year, the Parkville Youth Justice Centre was crippled so badly by rioting teens that some units were left inoperable. The Andrews government moved some teen inmates from Parkville to a unit at the notorious Barwon prison for adults.

That initial move was found to be illegal by the Supreme Court – the government has since re-gazetted the Grevillea unit to allow for teens to be held there.

 

Coolbellup: Roe 8 protests ramp up as activists clash with cops

A protesters is hand-cuffed by police after the fences guarding the site were pushed down

12 Jan – Police have clashed with protesters at the Roe 8 building site, after the fences guarding the area were pushed down, a woman holed up in a tree platform and more people chained themselves to machinery.

Protests ramped up on Thursday morning in Coolbellup, where clearing of bushland is due to continue to make way for the controversial Roe 8 road, which is part of the planned Perth Freight Link.

Journalist Belinda Cameron said a large amount of people had gathered at the site early in the morning, singing and chanting “give it up Colin”.

“Things have really kicked off this morning. When I arrived there were about 1000 people lining the gates that surround the site.”

She said that at about 7am protesters pushed down the fences surrounding the bulldozers at the building site.

“Police were quite outnumbered and several arrests were made,” she said.

“At the moment there are about 200 people still here who performed a sit-in around the equipment.

“There are also people who chained themselves to the machinery.

“I saw several elderly women walking around the site which has been partially cleared – openly crying, seeing what’s happened to their bushland.

“There have also been a few flare-ups between police and protesters and security has been brought into the site with several large German Shepherds now guarding the equipment.”

Reports say a young woman called Jacinta had set up in a platform on a tree, which is tensioned across access tracks. Any clearing work conducted would be dangerous to her safety.

Two other people called Koro and Jan had attached themselves to machinery.

By 10:30am police had made over a dozen arrests, with six people charged for trespassing and resisting arrest.

City of Melville councillor Tim Barling and City of Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright were among those arrested on Wednesday, with protesters wanting work to stop until the March state election.

More than 100 police officers attended the protest, including plain-clothed detectives, mounted police and the dog squad.

Melebourne: Youths transferred to adult prison after more riots at Parkville youth justice centre

Police and paramedics at the Parkville youth justice centre

9 Jan – Seven young people have been transferred out of Melbourne’s troubled Parkville youth justice centre, some to Barwon Prison, after rioting for six hours overnight.

Paramedics and police, including dog handlers, were called to the centre on Park Street on Parkville shortly after 8:00pm.

Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos said a group of six inmates broke away during a sporting activity before accessing a roof cavity and freeing another detainee.

“[The group] broke away from staff. They then managed to gain access to one of the units, and gain entry into the roof cavity of that unit,” she said.

“Whilst they were in the roof cavity, they managed to free one of their co-detainees out of his locked cell.”

Ms Mikakos said the incident was resolved by about 1:30am and no-one was injured.

Ian Lanyon, director of secure services at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), said 13 beds were damaged, taking the facility’s number of usable beds to about 50.

“We hope to have [those beds] repaired in the next few days and that unit fully back online,” he said.

The youths had been playing basketball before they absconded, Mr Lanyon added.

Before November’s riots, Parkville had a 123-bed capacity.

Some of the seven youths transferred were taken to the Grevillia Unit at Barwon Prison — a maximum security adult jail.

The others were sent to another youth justice centre at Malmsbury, about 100 kilometres north-west of Melbourne.

Police dog handler at Parkville Youth Justice Centre

A DHHS spokesperson said damage was being assessed and police were investigating.

“There were no injuries to young people, staff or police and at no point was there a threat to the security of the perimeter of the facility,” a statement read.

“Damage to the facility will be assessed with repair work to start as soon as this is completed.”

The State Government has been holding young people at the Grevillia Unit since November, after about 40 inmates rioted at the Parkville facility for 17 hours, ripping apart walls, windows and ceiling and destroying equipment.

The riot caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and left much of the centre unusable.

The Supreme Court last month ruled that it was illegal to house juvenile detainees at the Grevillia Unit on human rights grounds.

However, the Government said it addressed the court’s concerns and again gazetted the prison unit as a youth justice centre on December 29, allowing it to keep youths there indefinitely.

Opposition Families and Children spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said it was clear young people being held at Parkville were not concerned about being transferred to Barwon.

“The young offenders were moved to Barwon because they trashed Parkville so extensively that they were incapable of living there,” she said.

“And still, even after that, even after young offenders have been transferred to Barwon, riots continue.

Sydney: Anti-WestConnex protesters clash with police

A man on the ground with police holding his hands.

11 Jan – Protesters have clashed with police in Sydney Park, in the city’s inner-west, as workers begin lopping trees to make way for the construction of the WestConnex interchange.

Some protesters are climbing trees in a bid to disrupt the work at St Peters and several have been forcibly removed by police.

The protesters, who have set up a camp four months ago in Sydney Park, are angry at what they estimate will be the removal of more than 800 trees to make way for the interchange.

Among the protesters was Jennifer Killen who has lived in St Peters for more than 30 years.

“I’ve lived here since before this park was built and it’s made an enormous difference to local people,” she said.

“It’s very distressing to see it destroyed like this.”

Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the trees in Sydney Park were not actually in Sydney Park park at all.

“Those trees are on a road reserve,” he said.

“A reserve dedicated in the 1950s for the widening of Euston Road.”

The extent of the tree removal was revealed for the first time in a report released by WestConnex on Friday afternoon.

The assessment earmarked 827 trees for removal.

But the WestConnex Action Group says a further 200 trees are “at risk from the project unless there are redesigned or careful protection measures taken”.

Continue reading “Sydney: Anti-WestConnex protesters clash with police”

Wulagi: Seven teens in custody after Primary School vandalised

The Wulagi Primary School in Darwin

11 Jan – Seven teenagers are in police custody after allegedly breaking into Wulagi Primary School in an attack that saw computers damaged, shelves overturned and fire extinguishers let off.

Most of the destruction was in a shared library and technology hub.

Sensors in the library were activated about 11:30pm, which notified a security officer who called police after he went to the school and could hear the group inside.

Police used specialist units and dogs to catch the alleged vandals.

“We sent all of our available units who cordoned off the school with dogs and eventually we located and arrested the seven youths,” Duty Superintendent Rob Burgoyne said.

It is understood six of the seven children arrested have collectively had more than 300 involvements with police in the past.

Teachers and staff from the Northern Territory Education Department were on site today to assess the damage and assured the school community that they would make sure the area was ready before school returned on January 30.

“It’s an absolute disappointment for the students and staff who work hard in this school community,” chief executive of the NT Education Department Vicki Baylis said.

She said it would be frustrating for staff to again have to prepare the school for the start of the academic year.

“We’ve got a lot of paint everywhere, tagging, a lot of broken glass with clear intent of just breaking things,” she said.

“All of the fire extinguishers have been let off and pushed throughout the rooms, attempts to break into cabinets and secure areas, broken TV screens, computer screens that we will have to work to clean up now,” Ms Baylis said.

She said the Wulagi school community wanted the alleged offenders to come back to the school for community service.

Melbourne: Riot police quell another disturbance at Parkville youth justice centre

Police say several of the teens were involved in an overnight robbery.

8 Jan – Police say they have quelled a disturbance at the youth justice centre at Parkville in Melbourne overnight.

A police spokeswoman said officers were called to the centre on Park Street about 8:00pm on Saturday.

She said a number of units had remained at the scene overnight, including the critical incident response team, riot police and the dog squad.

A State Government spokesman said he was unable to comment on the operation.

No further information was available.

The incident is the latest in a series of disturbances at the facility.

In November, the State Government moved more than a dozen juvenile inmates to a maximum security adult prison after a riot caused up to $1 million in damages.

The decision to send the juveniles to the Barwon Prison was found to be unlawful, leading the state to re-gazette a unit within the prison as a youth justice facility.