Staff evac­u­ated and po­lice called as kids in de­ten­tion riot again


TEENAGE in­mates were last night ri­ot­ing at Parkville Youth Jus­tice Precinct, try­ing to break out of a se­cure sec­tion of the fa­cil­ity.

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun un­der­stands staff had to be evac­u­ated to pro­tect their own safety and handed con­trol of the fa­cil­ity to Vic­to­ria Po­lice around 8.15pm.

A po­lice spokes­woman con­firmed that a num­ber of units were on the scene to as­sist with a “dis­tur­bance”.

More than 30 po­lice of­fi­cers were on site, in­clud­ing the crit­i­cal in­ci­dent re­sponse team, the dog squad, po­lice air wing and paramedics.

Sources said a group of up to 20 in­mates had bro­ken out of the south­ern unit of the cen­tre and were try­ing to force their way into the north­ern unit, where staff had ear­lier been moved.

A worker said they felt “threaten- ed” when they saw the fight break out. An­other staff mem­ber said the fight be­tween the north and south units was “ex­tremely rowdy” . “It was re­ally bad,” the worker said. Last night’s in­ci­dent was the fifth se­ri­ous one at the fa­cil­ity in less than a year.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice me­dia spokeswom- an Amelia Pen­hall said: “A num­ber of po­lice units are cur­rently on scene as­sist­ing the De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices to re­solve the sit­u­a­tion.”

A DHHS spokesman con­firmed late last night that there was an “on­go­ing in­ci­dent”.

It was the sec­ond night in a row teenagers had caused trou­ble.

An in­mate climbed into the roof of the fa­cil­ity on Fri­day night and smashed ceil­ing plas­ter.

DHHS con­firmed youth jus­tice staff re­solved a “mi­nor in­ci­dent” on Fri­day night and there were no in­juries.

The riot is the lat­est in a string of in­ci­dents at youth jus­tice fa­cil­i­ties in Vic­to­ria.

Up to a dozen youths are at the state’s high­est se­cu­rity adult prison, Bar­won, af­ter they were moved fol­low­ing a riot in Novem­ber.

Op­po­si­tion youth af­fairs spokes­woman Ge­orgie Crozier last night called for the min­is­ter to stand down. “It beg­gars be­lief that Min­is­ter Jenny Mikakos still hasn’t been sacked by Daniel An­drews,” Ms Crozier said.

“The only thing Jenny Mikakos seems ca­pa­ble of do­ing suc­cess­fully is pre­sid­ing over more and more crises.”

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun has pre­vi­ously re­vealed that the dam­age bill from ri­ots at Parkville and Malms­bury de­ten­tion cen­tres over the past two years has reached up to $10 mil­lion.

Ri­ots on May 6 and Au­gust 17 last year caused ex­ten­sive dam­age, in­clud­ing large holes in ceil­ings and walls, smashed doors and win­dows and de­stroyed of­fice equip­ment.

Last March Parkville was locked down when six teenagers — some armed with metal bars — spent hours on a roof in a stand-off with guards and po­lice.

In Au­gust, youths spent hours on a roof at the Parkville Youth Jus­tice Cen­tre, caus­ing lock­downs for the sec­ond time that year. In mid-Novem­ber, youths rioted in­side Parkville and 30 in­mates trashed their cells.

The next day an­other in­ci­dent broke out when youths armed them­selves with gar­den equip­ment. On Novem­ber 17, teenagers were trans­ferred to Bar­won Prison af­ter the Parkville Youth Jus­tice Cen­tre was dam­aged.

In late De­cem­ber, the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment failed in its bid to over­turn the de­ci­sion that said hous­ing youths in Bar­won was il­le­gal.

On Tues­day, youths from Parkville rioted in the Gre­vil­lea unit of Bar­won prison caus­ing thou­sands of dol­lars in dam­age.

Last Fri­day saw an es­cape at­tempt by a teenager in­side Parkville. The teen climbed into a roof cav­ity and made his way through the fa­cil­ity. brianna.travers@news.com.au

Emer­gency ser­vices out­side the Parkville Youth Jus­tice Precinct last night.

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