Prisoners smash bus windows

Prisoners being transported in a Corrections Department bus travelling to Rimutaka Prison smashed windows after the bus broke down on the Desert Road.

Police were called to the incident yesterday. The scheduled bus service, which was on its way from Springhill Prison to Rimutaka Prison, was carrying 20 prisoners - including two with a maximum security rating. It dropped prisoners off at various prisons as it made its way south.

The bus broke down around 5pm.

Corrections acting national commissioner Jeanette Burns said the prisoners were were contained in the bus at all times.

Corrections' "advanced control and restraint" teams and Police staff were on hand and there was no risk to public safety.

The bus was repaired and Police assisted Corrections in escorting the prisoners to Tongariro Prison. It arrived around 9pm. From there they were transported to other prisons.

A source said police were required to calm the prisoners down. A scuffle of some kind broke out and the bus was damaged, with a number of windows smashed.

Ms Burns said Corrections had robust plans in place for incidents of this kind.

A full investigation would be carried out.

The Dominion Post