Armed police have stormed Melbourne’s Metropolitan Remand Centre and fired tear gas to take back control from several hundred rioting prisoners.
The prisoners are reported to be upset by a ban on cigarettes due to be implemented tomorrow. More than 80% of the state’s inmates are smokers and they have been unable to buy tobacco since June 12.
A many who has a son in prison at the centre says: “Prisoners will riot, even starve, until prison officers give them back their tobacco.”
The man, called Murray, rang radio 3AW Drive: “It’s a very stressful time. He (son) said trouble was brewing and there was a lot of unrest. He said, basically, all hell was going to break loose.”
— Tammy Mills (@TammyMills1) June 30, 2015
Channel Seven had images of prisoners with their heads covered and holding makeshift weapons.
— Christie Cooper (@ChristieCooper7) June 30, 2015
Corrections Victoria said a group of prisoners breached the inner perimeter about 12.20 pm. All staff have been accounted for. There are no injuries.
Staff evacuated from Ravenhall Prison.. police airwing, fire trucks on scene; prisoners remain inside the grounds. Day before ciggie ban.
— Heidi Murphy (@heidimur) June 30, 2015
Police confirmed that staff have been evacuated from the remand centre.
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