News State NT News Police called to major incident at Don Dale juvenile justice centre

Police called to major incident at Don Dale juvenile justice centre

The Don Dale youth detention centre in Darwin in July 2016. Photo: AAP
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Police have been called to a major incident involving inmates at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin on Tuesday night.

At least 15 police cars, including tactical response vehicles, responded to the incident on Tuesday night.

A Territory Families department spokeswoman said the “disturbance” at the centre started at 6.45pm.

“The police have been called and are currently assisting to resolve the situation,” the department said in a statement.

Media reports said police dressed in riot gear had entered the centre to quell a large-scale detainee disturbance.

The ABC reported that number of detainees had been seen on the roof and smoke was visible at the entry of the centre.

The centre received national attention in 2016 when the ABC aired a report showing camera footage of the abuse of youths, including Aboriginal teen Dylan Voller in a restraint chair wearing a spit hood.

It prompted a royal commission into juvenile detention in the NT.

Don Dale has continued to be the subject of negative publicity this year, with four boys accused of starting fires at the centre in July and injuries to prison guards in May.

The Darwin youth detention centre has continued to cause controversy. Photo: AAP

An offender who stabbed a man in the neck was released on bail recently after a judge heard the male youth had been held for 52 days and under lockdown for 15 hours at a time amid understaffing and no community programs.

The NT government has committed $70 million for two new detention centres in Darwin and Alice Springs as part of $229.6 million over the next five years to overhaul the child protection and youth justice systems and implement the recommendations of the royal commission.