EMERGENCY riot squads will be rolled out in Victorian youth detention centres as part of a security beef-up after a rise in attacks on guards.
From tomorrow officers trained to respond to full-scale emergencies, hostage negotiations and violent attacks will be placed in the centres.
The timely move comes after three brutal staff assaults in the past month and coincides with calls from the union for more security on the inside.
A guard was taken to hospital with a fractured skull last Sunday night after he was king-hit by two youths, who then kicked and stomped on his head while he was unconscious.
On July 5 a worker had his throat slashed and a female staff member was held hostage with a shiv during an escape attempt by four youths.
The stand-off between the youths and staff lasted another 2 1/2 hours.
Further reports – released under Freedom of Information laws – show the large cache of weapons smuggled into youth prisons since January 2010, including knives and wooden planks with nails poking out.
Up to 90 per cent of the 177 teens held in Victoria are serving sentences for violent crimes.
They range from 10 to 20- years-old and include 11 females who have committed serious crimes such as murder, burglary and assault.
Community and Public Sector Union assistant branch secretary Jim Walton welcomed the emergency response squad.
“There has clearly been a spike of incidents in the past couple of weeks,” he said.
“For the first time in a decade people are saying they are afraid to come to work.”
The Safety and Emergency Response unit will be fully deployed by November.