Australia

Fire, disturbance at Don Dale detention centre

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Several detainees have been removed from Darwin's notorious Don Dale Youth Centre, following a major disturbances and fire.

A fire has broken out at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre during a major disturbance involving inmates at the Darwin facility.

At least 15 police cars, including tactical response vehicles, as well as firefighters and ambulances responded to the incident on Tuesday night.

Video footage posted online by the Nine Network showed a section of the centre well alight and thick smoke billowing.

Video footage posted online by the Nine Network showed a section of the centre well alight and thick smoke billowing.
Video footage posted online by the Nine Network showed a section of the centre well alight and thick smoke billowing.
Nine Network

Just after midnight, multiple detainees were spotted being taken from the centre in police vehicles, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

A Territory Families department spokeswoman says the disturbance at the centre started at 6.45pm on Tuesday.

"The police have been called and are currently assisting to resolve the situation," the department said in a statement on Tuesday night.

The centre received national attention in 2016 when the ABC aired footage of the abuse of youths, including Aboriginal teen Dylan Voller in a restraint chair wearing a spit hood, prompting a royal commission into juvenile detention in the NT.

don dale no charges following royal commission
The graphic images of the abuse suffered by Dylan Voller and inmates at the Don Dale Detention Centre led to the inquiry.
ABC

Don Dale has continued to be the subject of negative publicity this year, with four boys accused of starting fires at the centre in July and injuries to prison guards in May.

An offender who stabbed a man in the neck was released on bail recently after a judge heard the male youth had been held for 52 days and under lockdown for 15 hours at a time amid understaffing and no community programs.

The NT government has committed $70 million for two new detention centres in Darwin and Alice Springs as part of $229.6 million to be spent over the next five years to overhaul the child protection and youth justice systems, and implement the recommendations of the royal commission.

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