Building rubble and debris had featured prominently in the 2010 and 2012 escapes and in the more sustained and violent roof ascents.  Although it appears that some measures were taken to improve construction site cleanliness after each of these incidents, the final clean-up was not sufficiently thorough. Walking through the site after the riot, the review team observed numerous rocks, bricks and other discarded debris that were barely buried, half buried or in plain view.

However, it would be wrong to blame the new construction for the problem of readily accessible building materials. Loose-laid pavers had been in place for many years in high-risk parts of the site, including right next to the high security Harding Unit. It was this old debris that was used to break the fourth detainee out of Harding and it was the surprise success of this enterprise which gave impetus to the whole incident.

Unassembled metal bed frames, left loose in the unoccupied self-care unit, were also accessed by detainees and were used to cause damage. They could alternatively have been used as ladders or weapons.

Again, these failings are extremely basic. They confirm that the poor security culture was not caused by the redevelopment though it was undoubtedly compounded by the rush to amalgamation in the spring of 2012.

Page last updated: April 4, 2014