Transfer warnings to be scrapped

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 May, 1996, 12:00am

Warnings to boat people of transfers are likely to be scrapped - a violation of independent recommendations, but necessary to avoid more confrontation, a government source said.

The guidance came in the wake of a controversial operation on April 7, 1994, at the Whitehead camp, which saw hundreds of boat people injured when security forces opened fire with tear-gas.

They were made by two JPs after Governor Chris Patten ordered an inquiry.

Their report said warnings should be made and counselling given to people before they were moved. No notice had been given in the 1994 operation.

Officials said yesterday's breakout seemed to have been planned and that detainees had made weapons, even though a weapons search was conducted recently.

The source said the practice of giving notice was now under review and likely to be reversed.