Saturday January 12, 2013
Prison to enhance security measures for detainees
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Prisons Department will enhance security measures and apply stricter body searches on high-risk inmates before they are escorted out of the prison by the police.
Department director Asst Comm Rosoman Abu Bakar said tighter surveillance in the prison was also needed, although the current standard operating procedures (SOP) were well established.
“We will cooperate with the police to ensure that detainees and inmates do not have any item that can be used as a weapon before leaving the prison,” he said, adding that a joint discussion would be held soon.
Seven detainees escaped after one of them threw curry powder or instant noodle seasoning to temporarily blind a police escort on Monday .
It has been reported that the curry powder could have come from packets of instant noodles that one of the detainees received from his family during visiting time at the prison several days earlier.
“We are checking on this as inmates are not allowed to receive any items brought by their family members,” he said yesterday.
ACP Rosoman, however, said snacks such as biscuits and instant noodles were available in the prison cafeteria and there was a possibility that the noodle seasoning came from there if it was indeed the powder that was thrown at the police escorts.
On public concern that inmates were taken out of the prison in handcuffs and walked across Jalan Penjara into police lorries parked across the road, ACP Rosoman said the process was done in accordance with the current SOP.
“The main gate is facing a busy road and there is no parking space. So, the police lorries have to park across the road,” he explained.
He said the police escorts would ensure that vehicles stop at the pedestrian crossing before they took detainees across the 5m-wide road.