Protest at Hawke’s Bay prison: the last four inmates surrender and agree to come down from the roof

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New Zealand

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis comments on the protest at Hawke’s Bay Jail as five inmates remain on the roof. Video / Mark Mitchell

The clash on the roof of Hawke’s Bay Regional Jail ended after the last four young inmates surrendered to authorities.

The capitulation came just under an hour after a second inmate protesting on the roof of the youth unit agreed to come down.

Prison guards bring the young inmates back into custody after the group surrenders.  Photo/Warren Buckland
Prison guards bring the young inmates back into custody after the group surrenders. Photo/Warren Buckland

Members of the riot squad had earlier gathered near the roof as five inmates threw debris out of the building.

Corrections said at 12:40 p.m. an inmate was taken down. Earlier this morning, one of the first six groups had surrendered.

Four inmates remain on the roof of the prison.

Some can be seen throwing lengths of wood and other materials from the roof towards those below them, including members of the riot squad with shields and firefighters.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis reiterated that he has “the utmost confidence” in corrections officers responding to the standoff.

“Professionals who are trained to deal with this kind of situation deal with it, he said.

Davis said how the band got on the roof will be looked at.

Davis said he had no concerns about the treatment of young inmates at the facility.

‘Corrections does a fantastic job of trying to meet the needs of people in prison and I would hate to speculate on why they decided to do this,’ he said.

Six prisoners, aged between 17 and 19, accessed the roof of the youth unit yesterday afternoon.

Members of the prison's riot squad can be seen massing near the roof.  Photo/Warren Buckland
Members of the prison’s riot squad can be seen massing near the roof. Photo/Warren Buckland

The five inmates on the prison roof throw objects, including wood.  Photo/Warren Buckland
The five inmates on the prison roof throw objects, including wood. Photo/Warren Buckland

A prisoner negotiation team ‘engaged’ with inmates throughout the night, Corrections Chief of Custody Neil Beales said today.

“We are taking all appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the prisoners and put an end to the incident.”

Five inmates remain on the roof of the youth unit today.  Photo/Warren Buckland
Five inmates remain on the roof of the youth unit today. Photo/Warren Buckland

The area is within the secure perimeter of the prison unit and Beales said there was no threat to the wider security of the prison or to public safety.

All the other inmates in the youth unit were safe.

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