A riot involving 21 inmates saw two prisoners injured. It is now a major crime investigation.
A riot involving 21 inmates saw two prisoners injured. It is now a major crime investigation.

Prison riot is now a major crime investigation

A RIOT at the Darwin Correctional Precinct involving 21 inmates sparked a large-scale response from cops and corrections officers overnight.

The prisoners climbed onto the roofs of several cell blocks and refused to come down.

General duty police and the Territory Response Group were called in to help corrections officers quell the riot.

Corrections Commissioner Scott McNairn said the prisoners eventually came down from the roofs of the four buildings without any force being used.

"We started negotiating with some prisoners and then we managed to secure the area and it was successful and there was no loss of life - no injuries to staff," Mr McNairn said.

Two inmates were injured during the incident.

Mr McNairn said it was not yet clear why the prisoners decided to riot and interviews with the prisoners involved would be undertaken by police and corrections.

Corrections and police are investigating the matter and it is now a major crime investigation.

Mr McNairn would not say which buildings were damaged by fire and how extensive the damage was.

He said the prison was adequately staffed at the time of the incident.

A usual night shift sees 16 officers working but as a result of the disturbance 90 extra officers were called in to help.

Justice Minister Natasha Fyles said there was no threat to public safety as a result of the incident.

"I must reassure the community that all of this took place behind the main wire of the downtown Correctional Facility and at no point was the community in danger," she said.

Ms Fyles said those involved would be dealt with through the law.

"So a very serious incident and (it) will be thoroughly investigated - it is subject to a serious criminal investigation," she said.

"Just because something takes place in a prison does not mean that the law would not be upheld and police are investigating independently, corrections will hold a review to look into the incident."

Originally published as Darwin prison riot now a major crime investigation