Townsville: riot at youth detention centre

March 30: A group of youths who rioted at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre on Wednesday night, reportedly stole staff uniforms and smashed windows, terrorising staff.

A detention centre staff member, who asked not to be named, said eight youths aged between 12 and 17 years were involved, breaking in to two separate parts of the centre via the airconditioning duct.

The Townsville Bulletin has been told one of those sections, a storage area, contained paint and petrol, with the youths barricading themselves inside.

They smashed up the storage area causing substantial damage and also stole staff uniforms and put them on. “They also threw tools like sledgehammers and chisels at police and youth workers,” the source said.

Police officers, including police negotiators, were called to the detention centre on Old Common Rd shortly after 5pm on Wednesday.

A Code Green was called to signal the boys had attempted to run away from their units followed by a Code Olive signal after they climbed on top of the roof, sending the facility into lockdown.

There have since been reports that youth and staff members may have been exposed to asbestos due to damages to the building during the riot.


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