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Knot Your Average Shoe!

Detector Dog Bart was spot on when he became shoe–spicious of a box during a routine search of incoming property at Rimutaka Prison earlier this month.

During the search, Bart gave a very strong indication on a box of trainers. He would not leave the box alone.

His handler John Thorne began manually searching the shoes, carefully checking all of the usual cavities for concealment. However, he did not locate anything of concern.

“Bart was adamant that he was right, so I knew I needed to keep searching,” says John. “I checked the padding around the heel and then I felt an inconsistency.

“I ripped open that cavity and found a bag of white powder. I then felt the padding on the other side of the shoe and I felt a similar inconsistency. I checked the other shoe and it was the same on both sides.”

The incident was immediately reported to Police and the substances were collected to be tested.

Police have since confirmed the contraband as two small bags of methamphetamine (approximately 2.5 grams total), and four larger bags of cocaine (approximately 22.5 grams total).

“I trusted my dog and so I couldn’t accept that there was nothing there,” says John.

“Let this be a clear message to anyone attempting to bring in or send any contraband to our sites – you will be caught.

“There is no place for drugs in prison. They create a more dangerous working environment for our staff, and prevent prisoners from engaging in rehabilitation, education and employment opportunities.”

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Corrections places significant emphasis on the prevention and detection of contraband introduction in prisons and we are constantly working to stay one step ahead of new methods used to introduce contraband into our prisons.

A range of methods are used at prisons across New Zealand to prevent drugs, weapons, cellphones and other prohibited items from entering. They include 22 operational Detector Dog Handlers operating 26 dogs across the country, x-ray technology, telephone monitoring of prisoners’ calls and single points of entry to sites.

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