Fri, Jun 13, 2008
Authorities step up security at Subordinate Courts

Authorities have taken immediate measures to secure Subordinate Courts detention facilities.

This comes after Jamaluddin Salam, 32, and Salman Abu Samah, 28, attempted to flee on Wednesday.

The escape

The escape attempt began when a policeman agreed to the two detainees' request for water. He breached precedure and opened the cell door to pass the water to them, even though the water can be passed through a hole in the cell door.

The detainees then assaulted him and made a dash for the exit gates.

Measures adopted

As a result, measures have been implemented to prevent Wednesday's escape attempts from happening again.

They include an extra lock fixed onto exit gates. This requires a second policeman to check who leaves the area when the gates are unlocked.

The absence of an extra lock on the exit gates was key to the escape attempt as the two detainees only had to press a buzzer and was allowed out by the guard on duty.

The guard breached precedure by not looking at the closed-circuit television monitor when he heard the buzzer.

The pair then proceeded to the fourth storey via the lift and forced their way through a locked door and ran to the ground floor.

The elevator has also been secured and can only be activated with a key now.

In their statement, police said they had been upgrading the lock-up area since 2003, adding extra security grilles and enhancing the CCTV system.

A security audit of all lock-ups was also conducted in March. In addition, a group took charge to look into the security of the Subordinate Courts lock-up facilities in April.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is now investigating the circumstances of the attempted escape to determine if any officers had been negligent in their duties.

The Straits Time reported that CID's investigations are expected to reveal new findings for further improvements.

Meanwhile, Jamaluddin and Salman may be looking at charges that include Vandalism, assaulting the policeman and escaping from legal custody.

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