Banksia Hill: Juvenile detainees smash windows and light fires as guards hid in locked rooms

6 May – Riot squads have been forced to storm a Perth juvenile detention centre overnight after detainees smashed windows and sparked fires.

Nine detainees reportedly lit scrub fires inside Banksia Hill Detention Centre while they ran amok outside of their cells about 6pm on Friday.

Prison officers at the Canning Hill detention centre, in Western Australia’s south, were forced to lock themselves in fortified rooms fearing for their lives.


Riot squads and mounted police were called in to get the situation under control on Friday

The riot comes one night after three juvenile detainees were injured at the centre in a separate riot.

Officers stormed the facility on Thursday night after five inmates aged between 15 and 18-years-old broke windows and lit fires.

One of the teenagers reportedly got hold of a nine kilogram gas cylinder, which sparked fears the scrub fire could rage out of control.

The police were forced to use flash bombs and pepper spray during the riot, which took two hours to control.

Nine detainees reportedly lit scrub fires inside Banksia Hill Detention Centre while they ran amok outside of their cells about 6pm on Friday

Three inmates were injured with one suffering an asthma attack, one a cut leg and the third an eye injury caused by glass.

This week’s riots were not the first at the Banksia Hill Detention Centre.

The centre has been home to a string of riots, with four reported in the second half of 2016 alone.

On November 12, 2016 the centre was locked down for three hours after inmates threw bricks at the guards, The West reports.

Inmates also threw bricks at the windows causing $150,000 to $400,000 worth of damage.

On September 1, 2016, four inmates armed themselves with home-made weapons and caused $150,000 worth of damage at the centre.
Special riot police were called in when the riot broke out on Friday night – it took them two hours to control the situation

Special riot police were called in when the riot broke out on Friday night – it took them two hours to control the situation

Union secretary Toni Walkington said guards at the centre were ‘outnumbered’ and put in danger due to the high number of inmates.

‘Things seem to be somewhat unsettled,’ she told Seven News.

The Union said Western Australia needed a second remand facility to cater for the overwhelming numbers.

Western Australia’s new Labor Premier Mark McGowan agreed.

Mr McGowan said on Friday there was a chance the Rangeview Juvenile Remand Centre, which closed in 2012, could be reopened.

‘We need to get to the bottom of what’s going on here. This is happening way too often,’ he said.

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