Operational update #6 - Disturbance at Christmas Island Detention Centre
Current as at 1400 AEST 10 November 2015
The Department can confirm all areas of the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Facility are under the full and effective control of service providers and Department staff.
All detainees have been accounted for.
The majority of detainees co-operated with service providers in restoring good order and control to the centre.
Five detainees have presented with injuries or medical conditions and are the subject of assessment and appropriate treatment from IHMS medical professionals. None of the matters are life-threatening. It is not known whether these injuries were sustained during the disturbance itself or during the resolution of the operation.
This morning’s operation to regain control of the centre and ensure the welfare of those not participating in criminal damage activities was achieved largely through negotiation and co-operation with detainees.
This strategy of peaceful negotiation and resolution has always been the clear objective of all involved in the operation.
Some force was used with a core group of detainees who had built barricades and actively resisted attempts to secure compounds, including threatened use of weapons and improvised weapons.
The centre remains calm, with detainees secured in undamaged areas of the centre. Food, fluid and medical support continues to be provided.
Service provider staff will conduct a sweep of all compounds to search for contraband including weapons before detainees are moved back into normal accommodation areas.
A full survey of damage to the centre is yet to be completed, but some common areas appear to be severely damaged. Work to repair the centre will be undertaken as a priority. The damage to Commonwealth property is the subject of investigation and identified offenders will be prosecuted.
The Department thanks all service provider staff who have acted professionally and quickly to restore order.
A Departmental hotline for family and friends of detainees within the facility has been set up - 1800 558 414. Reports will be referred to Departmental Case Management officers who will make contact with detainees as required. Personal information cannot be provided in response to enquiries without authorisation from the detainees involved.
Further updates will be provided as operations at the centre normalise.
Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244