• Inmates relocated after rooftop standoff caused "considerable damage"

Inmates relocated after rooftop standoff caused "considerable damage"

Inmates in the Youth Unit of Hawke's Bay Regional Prison have been relocated after a standoff earlier this week caused "considerable damage".

Six teenagers, one aged 17, four aged 18 and one aged 19 years, climbed onto the roof at about 2.30pm on Monday.

They spent the night barricaded on the roof in freezing conditions. Two prisoners came down at separate times the following morning before the final four came down at 1.30pm. 

Department of Corrections Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales said the unit had been vacated and assessments are underway. 

"During that time the prisoners caused considerable damage to the unit, including breaking windows, which has meant it is not appropriate or safe to accommodate prisoners until it has been repaired." 

Video recorded during the standoff on Tuesday. Video/Hawke's Bay App. 

Beales said the 27 youth offenders housed in the unit at the time of the incident have been relocated to "other suitable accommodation" at Hawke's Bay Regional Prison.

"Ten mainstream prisoners were moved out of the prison yesterday to other prisons in the Lower North Island, to free up space at HBRP for the youth affected by the closure of their unit," he said. 

"We will continue to ensure any men moved can continue to maintain contact with family and friends through phone calls, AVL where available, and postal, courier and email communication in line with our legally privileged correspondence/documents processes." 

At this stage, Beales said there is no indication of how long or how much it will cost to repair the unit until a full assessment has been completed.

"All six offenders have been referred to Police who will decide if criminal charges are to be laid. We are also carrying out a full review into the incident."

He reiterated the fact the incident was resolved without injury and without risk to the safety of the public or the wider security of the prison.

"Again, staff did an excellent job calmly de-escalating the incident and I would like to acknowledge them for their professionalism and bravery."