Alarm bells rung at Kempsey Jail as person spotted running into bushes

Alarm bells were rung at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre when a person was spotted running into bushes near the prison perimeter fence on Saturday.

Following the incident, a search was conducted of the area and CSNSW officers netted a stash of contraband and the number plate of a car seen leaving the area at speed – both the number plate and contraband were referred to police.

It was one of several incidents at four correctional centres over the weekend which lead to seven mobile phones, tobacco and the drug ice seized by Corrective Services NSW officers, as members of the public continue to smuggle illegal contraband into the state’s prisons.

Three women will be banned from visiting inmates and could face police charges after they were caught bringing in tobacco, buprenorphine and a crystal-like substance into Cooma and John Morony correctional centres.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said there was nothing to be gained – and a lot to be lost – for community members who smuggle in contraband to correctional centres.

“The majority of family and friends who visit their loved ones in our correctional centres are good, law-abiding citizens, but unfortunately there are some people who think it’s worth taking the risk to smuggle in drugs and other items,” Mr Elliott said.

“My warning to you is: you will be caught and you will be banned from visiting - in some cases for up to two years. You might even be charged by police. So don’t do it. It’s not worth the risk.”

Also on Saturday at Wellington Correctional Centre, a man was seen lurking around the prison gate house and a later search uncovered two parcels with a stash of tobacco, ice and mobile phones.

All up, at Cooma, John Morony, Mid-North Coast and Wellington correctional centres the following was seized:

·         10 sim cards

·         22 buprenorphine strips

·         Seven mobile phones

·         Two packets of tobacco

·         62g of tobacco

·         9g of ‘green vegetable matter’

·         1.3g of ice

·         Five syringes

·         Nine packets of rolling papers

·         Three phone chargers

·         One USB