30 Sep 2008

NZ High Commissioner to Vanuatu says tighter prison security still some time away

4:27 pm on 30 September 2008

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu says security at Port Vila Correctional Service Centre needs more tightening, following another escape of prisoners.

Police have so far recaptured four out of nine inmates who broke out of the high security section of the prison, 11 days ago.

30 police officers were deployed at the facility in June, following a series of escapes during the year.

The High Commissioner Jeff Langley says NZAID has invested thousands of dollars into tightening security but there is still a long way to go.

"Quite a lot of work has gone into strengthening the fence around the prison, improving security along the perimeter, addressing some of the issues around how inmates are managed within the prison facility. So that's required some new doors, new locks, some basic infrastructure maintenance, strengthening some of the basic brick and mortar issues around the prison."

Jeff Langley says plans are progressing with building a new prison, replacing the existing one by the end of next year.