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‘Ice’ use in Australia’s largest immigration detention centre captured on video

A detainee inside Villawood using drug paraphernalia (Supplied)

SBS World News has obtained exclusive video footage from inside Sydney's Villawood Immigration Detention Centre showing detainees smoking crystal methamphetamine, along with other drugs.The videos come as experts call for drug rehabilitation services to be made available to detainees in the centre.

Filmed inside the room of a detainee in Villawood detention centre, the video purports to show life inside Australia's largest immigration detention centre.  In the video the detainee is openly making a makeshift pipe in order to smoke the drug crystal methamphetamine, known as ice.

In a series of videos sent to SBS World News by a detainee at Villawood, drugs such as ice, marijuana and 'bupe', a heroin substitute, are used freely and openly.

Detainees say drugs are sometimes smuggled in by visitors, at other times guards and staff bring them in to sell.

An SBS investigation last year revealed the extent of illicit drug use inside Villawood, with 126 drug seizures recorded in 2017 - more than two a week.

Most of the almost 500 detainees at Villawood are awaiting deportation after having their visa cancelled, often due to criminal convictions.

Serco, the private company running the centre, has declined to respond to questions about drug use inside and the allegation that staff are bringing in drugs.

The Australian Border Force says they have “introduced new security checks for visitors to detention facilities to prevent the entry of contraband and reduce external criminal influence". 

Drug researchers, such as Jarryd Bartle, say drug use by detainees in high-stress situations isn't surprising. And, Sydney University Professor Maree Teeson says the frequency of drug use in the centre shows people need professional help.

Following the drug-related death of a detainee in Villawood in 2016 the New South Wales Coroner recommended the introduction of drug rehabilitation programs for detainees.  

It's a recommendation the federal government is yet to act on.

 

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