Media Release

24 June 2018

Guy-O’Donohue: Prison drones

Sunday 24 June 2018

Prison drones

Under Daniel Andrews, contraband such as drugs and weapons have flooded the prison system, encouraging violence, stand-over tactics and other criminal behaviour.

Contraband is regularly thrown, hit or dropped over prison walls and fences fuelling a prison black market that Daniel Andrews is incapable of stopping.

From the worst prison riot in Victoria’s history, which left the Metropolitan Remand Centre trashed, crime in Victoria’s justice facilities continues to go from bad to worse, up 127% under Daniel Andrews.

A Liberal Nationals Government will use the latest technology to both stop contraband and monitor prisoner behaviour, by introducing cutting edge drones to the prison system.

This new technology will enable prison intelligence to monitor both outside and inside the prison perimeters with real time surveillance.

Drones can be deployed to ensure a bird’s eye view when there’s a fight or incident in a prison space, improving real time response.

The drones could also be deployed to monitor a prison perimeter and watch for drops of drugs and contraband when tip-offs are received.

While prisons have extensive CCTV systems to capture prisoner movements and disturbances, their location is usually fixed with limitations in reach. During the MRC riot prisoners destroyed the CCTV cameras so their activities couldn’t be recorded, leaving prison officers blind about what was going on in large parts of the prison. Drones would enable prison management to continue to monitor and gather intelligence where CCTV cameras have been destroyed.

While the drone trial would be primarily focused on the maximum and medium security prisons, they would also be excellent at the large farm minimum security prisons where surveillance across large distances can be limited.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

“My Government will use every tool at our disposal, like these drones, to crack down on any trouble from prisoners.

We have a zero tolerance approach when it comes to violent prisoners and criminals.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Corrections, Edward O’Donohue:

“Under Daniel Andrews we had the worst prison riot in Victoria’s history and our prisons remain worse than ever, with the flood of weapons and other smuggled contraband continuing unabated.

The chaos in the corrections system under Daniel Andrews must be stopped and we will use cutting edge technology to do just that.”