British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Oct 24, 2020

Prison to implement modern security system, increase surveillance

Prison to implement modern security system, increase surveillance

Acting Deputy Superintendent of Prisons Mario Christopher said a brand new and modern security system is in the pipeline for Her Majesty’s Prison.

Christopher said the September 2017 disasters that affected the Balsam Ghut-based facility destroyed the surveillance cameras that were previously there. However, new cameras are now scheduled to be installed at the facility this year.

“We have put forward a proposal through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office because we are supposed to be upgrading the security system sometime this year. We are supposed to get what we call the prison management system, and this will incorporate sensors around the perimeter fencing along the gates,” Christopher said.

“The system also incorporates a number of cameras because after the hurricane a number of our cameras and fibre optic cables was destroyed. So that will be upgraded and improved,” he added.

News of plans to improve the prison’s security system comes on the heels of the destruction of several dozen contraband items that were found across at the facility.


Less ‘throw overs’

Christopher said once that system is implemented, it “will definitely reduce the amount of throw-overs because we will now have what we call an eye in the sky.”

He said the prison is also working closely with the East End Police Station to increase their patrols around the facility.

This effort has been largely successful so far, Christopher said.

“We have actually seen a reduction in throw overs in the latter part of 2019 as well as the early part of this year,” he stated.


Up in flames

In the meantime, members of the media were invited to witness the burning of the contraband that the facility had accumulated over the last five years.

Christopher said: “The senior command at Her Majesty’s Prison engaged in an exercise in which all the contraband that was collected in 2019 and some contraband that was accumulated over the years from 2014 forward was assessed and taken to the prison farm and destroyed.”

“Most of the stuff that we have from the prison, are cellular phones, a number of Wi-Fi devices, as well as the more hardcore stuff marijuana, tobacco, and other paraphernalia that the guys use to consume the cannabis and tobacco,” the acting prison boss added.

He continued: “We don’t want to create an opportunity for corruption within the institution. What you will find is the accumulation of such items might be tempting to staff and officers because part of the contraband that we collected included money.”

He said the sum of $675.18 cash was collected in 2019 and it was transferred to the government’s coffers.

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