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National Security Minister Stuart Young

In the last three years 33 prison officers have been held trying to enter the prisons with contraband items– and the practice of throwing contraband items over prison walls has also been addressed and continues being addressed.

National Security Minister Stuart Young confirmed this in the Senate yesterday replying to Independent Senator Paul Richards’ queries.

Young said the Prison Service has employed a suite of measures to increase addressing the problem of trafficking of contraband. That has resulted in the detention of a number of people including active prison officers.

He said the service continues to monitor and evaluate these measure – but for obvious reasons he couldn’t broadcast them specifically

Young said officers are scanned on entering prison . Also, the practice by some culprits of throwing contraband over prison walls has been and continues being addressed , “But unfortunately this is part of prison systems worldwide,” he added.

He said CCTV camera surveillance is among measures being used and the “scanners and jammers” are operational contrary to what has been seen.

Young and UNC Senator Wade Mark later squared off on another issue.

Young said landlines of the Fire Service were not disconnected and continue fully operational– but some mobile phones of First Division Fire officers were temporarily affected at the end of January.

This was rectified and never affected service or the division’s response to the public.

Mark asked some of the factors that led to the disconnections .

Young replied, “No”

Mark said, “I ,I, I, beg your pardon?!!’’

“Young repeated, “No…”

Mark : “What you said? Is that a response…?I think that’s rude! “

He was halted from calling Young a rude minister. Mark then sought assurance that there’d be no recurrence of the disconnection.

Young said he didn’t have the information on what caused the disconnection as it could have been technical problem on the service provider’s part or bill payments

“I simply don’t have the information so the response to the previous question was no,” Young added.

Without the information there was no way to give assurance it may not recur in future, “So the answer was no – I cannot give any such assurances,” the minister said.