Three years ago two Officers from Lismore CESU took an inmate on a hospital escort. The inmate attempted to escape.
One Officer, who can only be named as Officer A, drew his weapon and did what we are all trained to do as per policy, procedures and the Crimes (Administration of Sentence) Act.
This matter was then before the Coroners Court, where the judge referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Officer A was subsequently charged with manslaughter.
Officer A is currently on workers’ compensation after the incident and is on 80 per cent of wages which is a significant loss in income. This is all for doing his job in the way we are all trained to do on escorts.
We have now been informed that the DPP has determined that Officer A’s charges will be upgraded to murder. As you can all imagine this is extremely distressing for Officer A and his family and friends.
The POVB Executive has met today and we issue the below direction:
All members are aware of the incident that occurred three years ago at Lismore Hospital whilst two members were on a hospital escort and an inmate attempted escape.
The death in custody was before the Coroners Court, which then referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Officer A was subsequently charged with manslaughter.
The POVB Executive has been informed that the DPP is now upgrading the charges to murder.
This significantly changes the landscape for Officer A and poses questions for the membership as to how we conduct hospital escorts, when an inmate escapes, as per the policies, procedures and the training given to all members.
Due to the increase in Officer A’s charges the POVB Executive direct all members to take 24-hour stop work action from:
- the first A watch shift on 12.08.2022 to the first A watch shift 13.08.2022 to show support to Officer A.
WE ARE ALL OFFICER A, WHEN WE CONDUCT EXTERNAL ARMED ESCORTS OR WHEN WE CARRY A WEAPON.
We also direct that no member will conduct a hospital escort on an inmate who is classified as male inmates A, B, or female inmates 4 or 3, without a restraining belt and ankle cuffs.
We also call on this Government to give support to Prison Officers in the work that we do when deployed with firearms to protect the NSW community.
Members need to be aware that this is not up for a vote. This is a direction from the State Executive to take 24-hour industrial action in support of Officer A.
The PSA strongly reminds members not to make comment on social media regarding the matter before the court.