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Kiwi prison guards worried by police error

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/03/2017
Paremoremo Prison, Albany © Getty Paremoremo Prison, Albany

Auckland prison guards assaulted in a maximum security jail have further fears for their safety after their personal details were passed onto the inmates accused of attacking them.

The officers suffered a range of wounds, including being stabbed, in the assault at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.

Now their personal details have been passed onto gang members inside the prison after police failed to redact them from documents given to the prisoners' defence lawyer, Corrections Association president Alan Whitley says.

"The police have given a disclosure to the defence lawyer for the prisoners ... and that lawyer handed the information over to the prisoners," he told RNZ.

"He is entitled to do that but the personal details in that should have been taken out, they should have been redacted."

Mr Whitley said his team had worked with police on Monday to to ensure the safety of the prison guards but was angry the error occurred.

"It's put people in jeopardy and what we don't want is people being fearful of going through with a prosecution after they've been assaulted at work," he said.

While the fault for the failed redaction rested with police, he also took aim at the prisoners' lawyer.

"[We] think there is an ethical and moral responsibility on the lawyer himself to have a look at it and to think, 'Well, I don't need to be handing that part of the information over to fully defend my client'," he said.

Police Superintendent Tusha Penny says police discovered the error late last week and expressed "deep regret to Corrections".

"We are discussing appropriate security measures for the affected staff members however we will not discuss these measures publicly," she said in a statement.

Police are carrying out an internal investigation into the error.

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