30 Jan 2018

Samoa prison escapees hand themselves in

9:57 am on 30 January 2018

Two prisoners who escaped from Samoa's Tafaigata prison last week have voluntarily turned themselves back in to prison last night, while a Samoan MP says something must be done to stop escapes from the prison.

Part of Tafaigata prison cells

Part of Tafaigata prison cells Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Police spokesperson, Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo, said authorities want the two escapees to be handed over to police for investigation and possible criminal charges.

There has been a spate of escapes from recently, prompting prisoners' weekend privileges to be revoked and a call from the prime minister for management to lift their performance as well as improve the fitness of staff.

And a remaining prisoner of the four inmates who escaped before Christmas last year is still at large.

Faleata West MP, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafisomething said something must be done to protect members of his constituency from prisoners escaping from Tafaigata prison.

Lealailepule said people living in nearby areas were often terrorised by escapees.

"We have some major issues with escapees victimising some members of my constituency. Some have been badly hurt. They have beaten up some of our old people and stolen their things. It has happened several times, so they must do something."

Lealailepule is advocating the return of the infamous 'cell number nine' which was used to punish prisoners before human rights groups called for it to be decommissioned.

He said the safety of the public should come before the rights of offenders.

"The people in the prison, not all of them but some of these hardcore criminals doing such things, I mean, you have to do something to them. You talk about the rights of these few people but what about the rights of our people, the people that deserve to be protected," Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi said.

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