Westgate to install wire barrier

  • Increased security: the prison wall at Westgate (File photograph).

    Increased security: the prison wall at Westgate (File photograph).

Tougher security measures are expected to be introduced at Westgate after checks found more fencing was needed at the jail.

The Government plans to install a 10ft-high barrier topped with more than two feet of razor wire inside the prison’s walls.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, explained that September’s Hurricane Humberto had caused damage to the fence, which was still under repair this week.

He confirmed that the Department of Corrections was looking for a specialist installer to “enhance the security of the barriers and fencing at Westgate Correctional Facility”.

Mr Caines said on Monday: “Currently there are repairs being made to the fencing.

“This is as a result of hurricane damage and some wear and tear.

“The work is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

“As a note, following the hurricane, a security review was held and it was determined that additional fencing was required.”

Humberto brushed Bermuda as a Category 3 storm on September 18.

Mr Caines said that the ministry had worked with the prison service over the past year to increase security measures and strengthen protocols.

A request for quotations on the Government’s website said: “The Department of Corrections is proposing to have a 10ft- high, chain-link security fence erected 10ft inside of the existing perimeter wall.

“The proposed fence will comprise of security grade galvanised chain-link fencing and nine gauge galvanised poles.

“The finished product will have 30in razor wire attached to the top.”

An accompanying document set out the specifications for the razor wire, which showed that it was expected to be a “concertina-style coil” with more than 20 “barb clusters” on each of its loops.

The RFQ was issued on November 6 with a deadline of December 6.

Mr Caines said: “Funding for the project will be allocated in accordance with the ministry’s budget and we have submitted our request in the Capital Budget 2020-21.”

He added that he continued to work to make sure that corrections facilities were “safe, secure, fit for purpose and meet international standards and best practices”.

A 29-year-old man who escaped from the prison was caught after a search by police and Department of Corrections staff in September.

The inmate was recaptured in Southampton.

Mr Caines confirmed in July 2018 that there was an attempted breach of the prison’s perimeter and that prison officers “responded accordingly”.

He said then that security measures had been increased and that the Department of Corrections would “continue to manage and minimise” similar risks.

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Published Nov 14, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 14, 2019 at 7:15 am)

Westgate to install wire barrier

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