Prisoner Transport: Update

We are pleased to update members on the success of the three trials that have been underway since December/January in Newcastle, Parkes and the Metropolitan correctional facilities and gaols state wide (AVL issued Section 33 orders).

The trial of Metropolitan and gaol sites regarding the AVL issued section 33 orders was initially planned for a three-month period, commencing December 2018. At a meeting convened with the NSWPF on 27 February, approval was granted for the trial to be extended by another three months to enable further data to be collected and based on positive feedback from Correctives Services NSW (CSNSW).

Subsequently on 27 March 2019 at the IRC report back, a mid-trial review was provided, indicating it had been successful so far. We will report back further at the conclusion of the trial following additional discussions taking place regarding the review parameters.

NEWCASTLE AREA TRIAL

An AVL suite was installed at Newcastle police station in March 2019, which hopefully over time will limit the requirement to transport prisoners to other courts.

On 22 May 2019, a review meeting was held with all stakeholders to discuss the evaluation of the Newcastle trial. Association Executive member Ian Allwood attended and provided comprehensive feedback on the success of the trial  from the Association members in that area.

Police officers from Belmont, Toronto, Maitland and Raymond Terrace were no longer having to transport their police bail-refused prisoners to and from Newcastle cells or to escort them to court on the morning of a mention.

The collection service operates between 3pm–11pm with 9pm being the cut off collection time. Custodies from Cessnock were being taken to Maitland for pickup, which has also assisted that station.

In Newcastle, all Section 33 orders issued by the court have been undertaken by CSNSW.

As of 31 May 2019 there were 19 Section 33s from Newcastle.

  • Jan: 4
  • Feb: 5
  • Mar: 4
  • Apr: 4 
  • May: 2

The morale of the police officers has improved dramatically, as has the relationship between NSW Police Officers and CSNSW officers.

PARKES TRIAL

Police officers are continuing to undertake post court bail refused prisoners on overtime only, for which NSWPF are to bill CSNSW. Whilst an AVL suite has been installed at Parkes, it has had limited impact on the transports as they still have to transport them to Wellington or Dubbo.

OTHER REGIONAL AREAS

Non first response police are to perform transportations and, where non response police officers are not available, overtime should be provided for other officers to perform the duty.

SECTION 33: AVL ISSUED 33 ORDERS

In the Sydney metro area at correctional facilities at the SPC, Amber Laurel and all gaols across NSW, any Section 33 orders issued via AVL has been undertaken by CSNSW and this work has been enjoyed by CSNSW.

As at 23 May 2019, the Section 33 escorts undertaken by CSNSW under the trial were:

  • Dec 2018: 24
  • Jan 2019: 28
  • Feb 2019: 41
  • Mar 2019: 42
  • Apr 2019: 30
  • May 2019: 27

REVIEW & ASSESSMENT

The Section 33 and Newcastle trials will be reviewed in July 2019. Corrective Services NSW has engaged Deloitte to assess the trial from their perspective; we are working closely with NSWPF regarding data and evidence from the affected areas to properly assess the success of the trial from a policing perspective.

Anecdotally members have advised us that CSNSW undertaking the work has enabled police to focus on first response, improved response times, enabled proactive policing and has allowed police to do police work in their local communities, rather than transporting prisoners. This information is vital, from a policing perspective, to form part of the trial review process.

Members in the affected trial site areas are encouraged to provide evidence and information to their local branch officials or Executive Members: Ian Allwood (Newcastle area) and Adrian Mathews (Parkes).

Any feedback regarding the metro AVL Section 33 orders and transports can be emailed to feedback@pansw.org.au with the title prisoner transport trial feedback. A survey of those affected Districts in the Newcastle trial is expected to be released shortly.

The PANSW remains committed, as part of the overall dispute, to rolling out more sites where CSNSW can alter some work practices to enable greater assistance with the transports of prisoners. We see the outcome from Newcastle as guiding any possible amendments.