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Youths detained at Perth Watch House amid ‘exceptional circumstances’ at Banksia Hill


WA Police have admitted “distinctive circumstances” meant two juveniles had been saved on the grownup Perth Watch Home earlier this week, drawing criticism from the state’s Commissioner for Kids and Younger Individuals.

Officers had no selection however to maintain them there for about three hours one night after employees on the state’s juvenile detention middle – Banksia Hill – suggested they might not obtain any detainees.

Police mentioned they had been saved there for lower than three hours and had been “segregated” from grownup detainees.

“The 2 juveniles had been handled in accordance with the Western Australia Police Pressure custody coverage and procedures, that are detailed and complete to make sure the security of all detainees and employees,” a police spokesperson mentioned.

“WA Police Pressure coverage and procedures allow the detention of juveniles at Perth Watch Home in distinctive circumstances.

“The shortcoming of Banksia Hill to obtain juveniles is such a circumstance.”

A Banksia Hill Detention Center sign, with cars in the background.
The situations at Banksia Hill have been extensively criticized.(ABC Information: Gavin Johns)

Watch home ‘not an applicable setting’

A spokesperson for the Division of Justice mentioned the youngsters had been on “arrest/remand warrants” and their switch to Banskia was delayed “whereas custodial employees had been managing an operational incident”. They didn’t element what the incident was.

“These occurrences are very uncommon and solely taken to make sure the security of younger individuals and safety of the middle.”

WA’s Commissioner for Kids and Younger Individuals mentioned she had not been formally instructed of the incident however was involved to listen to juveniles had been saved within the watch home.

A woman looks at the camera, smiling slightly.
Jacqueline McGowan-Jones says police aren’t educated to grasp the complicated wants of youth detainees.(Provided: Jacqueline McGowan-Jones)

“It is not an applicable setting for them, and we might be actually involved if this grew to become a standard follow,” Jacqueline McGowan-Jones mentioned.

“For a lot of of those younger people who find themselves put into Banksia, they’ve cognitive impairments, neurodevelopmental delay, et cetera.

“They want employees who’ve an understanding of their wants and police aren’t educated for that.”

Transfer follows switch of youth detainees to grownup jail

In July, 17 detainees had been moved from Banksia Hill to an remoted unit on the most safety grownup Casuarina Jail, sparking concern from advocates.

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