NSW police have signed a cooperative agreement with the State Government to ensure incidents like the 2011 fires at Villawood Dentention Centre are not repeated.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NSW Police Force, Australian Federal Police and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection aims to bring clarity on how the relevant parties deal with future situations at the centre.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison said there was now a heightened level of operational cooperation between federal and state agencies and a clear understanding of their respective responsibilities.
“Now there is greater clarity about who you call, what they do, how they respond and how they deal with any situation that may present at [Villawood],” said Mr Morrison.
“We all remember terribly the days of several years ago when the Villawood detention centre burnt down; that was a night where people were put at risk.
“It’s important we had clarity around the respective responsibilities of everyone who was involved of ensuring the safety and public order of that facility and today’s agreement brings that to a conclusion.”
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said following the events of 2011, the community needed to know the police clearly understood their role and were going to keep the community safe.
“This Memorandum of Understanding brings certainty to our role and that’s important,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“At times of crisis you don’t want to be trying to determine who has what responsibility… you actually want that sorted before you get there and that’s what today is all about,” he said.
Details of the MoU will not be released to the public. – Rebecca Hopper reporting from the Police Executive Offices, Sydney
Photo by Daniel Walker.