Prison officers ‘targeted’ in attack
Townsville prison officers have been subject to a "targeted attack", with armed guards now stationed at the front of the men's jail and farm after reports a female officer had a gun pointed at her by an ex-prisoner.
Sources told the Townsville Bulletin armed officers were placed at the entry to both the Townsville Correctional Centre and the low-security Townsville Correctional Centre Farm after a female officer was threatened with a gun yesterday morning.
It is alleged at 6.50am a stolen white Mazda from Ayr with five males inside, drove into the men's jail carpark and completed a lap, before following the female officer out as she drove off.
She then pulled over at the Stuart State School, where the stolen Mazda pulled up parallel to her car, with a number of people covering their faces with shirts.
One of the males, an ex-prisoner, was sitting in the passenger seat when he rolled the window down and pointed a gun at her.
Another prisoner officer pulled up behind the Mazda, and after a few seconds the driver sped off.
Yesterday, a Correctional Emergency Response Team, and two Dog Squad officers were deployed for patrols and it's understood this will continue pending information from the police.
"There is no information indicating this is a targeted event to any individual, it is certainly a targeted attack on us as a staff group," a message to staff read.
"QPS are applying significant resources toward apprehending these individuals.
"We are sending SMS to all off duty staff to advise they are to contact the centre prior to attending to ensure safe entry."
A risk assessment will be undertaken to determine ongoing safety strategies.
An independent Internal Management Review of the event will be conducted, as well as an Intelligence Report prepared as corrections continues to work with police.
Staff are also being urged to consider hiding their uniforms in public, or wearing a different shirt while travelling to work.
Yesterday the Townsville Correctional Centre was placed into lockdown as a "precautionary measure".
The Together Union was contacted for comment.
Originally published as Prison officers 'targeted' in attack