Security ill-prepared for second helicopter prison escape: report

Public security minister Lise Thériault
LA PRESSE

Despite a helicopter jailbreak in 2013, security official were poorly prepared for a second attempt 15 months later, a newly released report summary says.

Officials seemed to believe that there was little chance that a such a jail break could happen again. "Security officials in the detention centres were of the opinion that the March 17, 2013 escape was a special case that was unlikely to reoccur," says a synopsis of an investigation done by Michel Bouchard, who the public security minister had asked to examine the facts surrounded the second escape.

Bouchard says because administrators took 15 months to produce a report on the original helicopter jail break, it was not complete until a second one had already happened.

"If the recommendations had been available earlier, their application in the correctional system could have made the June 7, 2014 escape more difficult."

The summary also says an analysis on possible netting or wiring to thwart helicopters was not completed in time for any of the equipment to be ordered.

And, it backs up minister Lise Thériault's previous version of events, saying that civil servants provided her office with untrue or incomplete information.

The minister only distributed a summary of Bouchard's report. An analysis is underway to see whether legal constraints and security concerns will allow her to release the complete report, the minister says.

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