Westgate will get a new security fence among a raft of other measures.
Westgate will get a new security fence among a raft of other measures.

Westgate is to get amped up security measures after a prisoner tried to get out of his cell last month.

National Security Minister Michael Dunkley spoke in the House of Assembly this morning and said new measures would include additional internal screening, perimetre fence strengthening and improved CCTV.

Mr Dunkley visited Westgate and met with the Commissioner Col Edward Lamb and his senior team after thes ecurity breach.

“I wish to reiterate for Honourable Members and the public that this was not an escape attempt but a break from a cell to obtain contraband that had been thrown over into the prison facility.

“I am pleased to advise this Honourable House that the incident on Bermuda Day has served as a timely reminder of the importance of security checks to all concerned.

“Regular searches and tests of cell integrity are performed to ensure that from shift to shift any and all issues are properly identified.”

“Additionally, Mr. Speaker, additional internal screening is being installed on cell windows providing an extra layer of security between the inmate and the outside.

“One hundred per cent perimetre fence checks have been conducted and areas in need of strengthening have been addressed.

“Mr. Speaker, the promised investigation has commenced and senior officers have been assigned to review the circumstances surrounding this breach and to make recommendations to avoid any re-occurrence.”

Mr Dunkley also said the Ministry is examining the Department of Corrections’ budget to find funding for additional cameras.

“To minimize the risk of contraband being thrown over the walls, we will work with the Bermuda Maritime Museum to restrict access to Casemates site.

“I can also advise Honourable Members that, with my colleague the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, Cabinet will shortly be invited to approve a new no-go zone for maritime traffic within a prescribed distance from the north-west shores of the Westgate facility.

“We will seek permission to mark the area clearly and to enforce the exclusion zone to help eliminate any risks presented by maritime craft in the area.

“Additionally, CCTV coverage in this area will also be improved to tighten security.”

Mr Dunkley said of his meeting with Col Lamb and his team: “I reiterated for them that this Government supports whatever measures they deem necessary to maintain security and good order at Westgate and the other prison facilities.

“In return, we expect established procedures to be followed and that those who fail to do so will be held accountable and dealt with according to established disciplinary procedures.

“The challenge of Corrections is one reflected by the social dynamics now present in our society.

“Modern Corrections centralizes these issues and imposes a greater requirement on the system to be vigilant both in security and attention to rehabilitation. The challenge is great but not impossible.”