MIL OSI – Source: Australia Government Statements – Operation Safe Centres cracks down on drugs in detention – News – Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Online Newsroom
Officers from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) have today continued the work of Operation Safe Centres – a
multi-agency operation to crack down on contraband in immigration detention centres and ensure the safety and good order of the facilities.
DIBP Deputy Secretary Immigration Status Resolution Cindy Briscoe said today’s search at the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Melbourne was the second in three days, with a successful search of key compounds at Villawood IDC in Sydney on Monday.
“Operation Safe Centres is about ensuring all those people who reside at, visit or work in immigration detention centres can feel safe in those facilities, without the threat of any sort of contraband, including illegal drugs and weapons,” Ms Briscoe said.
“We have a zero tolerance to any violent or illegal behaviour in our centres and detainees and visitors should be put on notice – any contraband hidden inside a detention centre will be found.”
A recent incident at Perth IDC highlighted the importance of Operation Safe Centres, with service provider Serco staff responding quickly to a person throwing substances, believed to be illegal drugs, over a fence to detainees inside the facility.
“We have combined the resources of DIBP and its service provider, Serco, as well as the specialist capabilities of ACBPS officers and members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and local police forces to ensure this sort of behaviour is stopped,” Ms Briscoe said.
Ms Briscoe said the operation is an unprecedented multi-agency approach based on intelligence gathered by the Department, Serco Australia and ACBPS.
“Operation Safe Centres demonstrates the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio’s uncompromising approach to criminal behaviour and threats to our border of any kind,” Ms Briscoe said.
“It’s also an excellent example of the success possible when our agencies work together and an indication of the sort of achievements we can look forward to with the establishment of the new Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Australian Border Force, from July 1.
“I would like to thank New South Wales Police, Victoria Police and the AFP for their invaluable assistance and cooperation during this operation, as well as the ongoing support from our service provider, Serco Australia.”
Contraband items were confiscated at both centres and referred to local police. These items included drugs and drug paraphernalia, including pipes and syringes and other prohibited items.