COMMUNITY MEMBERS ANGERED THEY WERE NOT CONTACTED AFTER A MAN SNUCK OUT OF PRISON
The Dhurringile community was angry after residents were left in the dark about a prison escapee who was on the loose in their neighbourhood.
A prisoner snuck out of the minimum-security Dhurringile prison early Saturday, before being apprehended a few hours later.
But several community members were not informed of the escape, despite extensive consultations aimed at keeping people informed of breakouts.
In previous escapes, nearby community members had been sent text messages as soon as prison management were aware of missing prisoners.
It was a method that was developed after extensive discussions between prison management and the Dhurringile Community Action Group.
Group chair Frank Niglia said for the past few years people who opted in were quickly informed whenever there was an escape.
‘‘As soon as you know something has happened you can take precautions,’’ Mr Niglia said.
‘‘The Community Action Group has gone to a lot of trouble so that people in the community can feel safe in the event of an escape.’’
The escapee, 27, allegedly attempted to steal several cars in Tatura, before successfully stealing a car.
After allegedly stealing tobacco and alcohol from a Tatura shop, he went back to Dhurringile and dumped the vehicle.
It was there where he allegedly stole a second vehicle, a white Mitsubishi truck from a home in the Dhurringile area. Continued page 5
The man was arrested by police while he was in the truck on the Nagambie-Rushworth Rd at just before 8 am Saturday.
He was arrested and will face Shepparton Magistrates’ Court this morning on charges of escape, theft of motor vehicles and burglary.
The fact a community member allegedly had their vehicle stolen was something that angered Mr Niglia, as it was something the early warning system was meant to prevent.
A number of nearby neighbours of the prison were contacted directly by prison authorities, but neither Mr Niglia, or Dhurringile Community Action Group secretary Rachel Smith were contacted.
‘‘The community is supposed to be texted, so they can take appropriate precautions,’’ he said.
‘‘People can make sure their doors are locked, we went to a lot of trouble for this and the protocols were not followed.’’
Corrections Victoria was contacted for comment.