Urgent call for action plan after rioting - The Evesham Observer

Urgent call for action plan after rioting

Evesham Editorial 27th Sep, 2019   0

UNION chiefs at the largest body representing prison officers have labelled jails such as HMP Long Lartin as ‘war zones’ after the latest riot saw an officer taken to hospital.

Senior figures at the Prison Officers Association (POA) spoke out after staff at the South Littleton prison were forced to retreat from a wing when they were attacked with pool balls.

About ten inmates went on the rampage during Tuesday (September 24) evening’s disturbance, the Ministry of Justice said. One officer required hospital treatment after being indirectly injured and part of the building was damaged.

A specialist unit, known as a Tornado team, were sent to the Category A prison in an attempt to restore order.

POA chiefs hailed the professionalism of officers who forced prisoners to surrender in the early hours of Wednesday (September 25) and claimed the incident showed the service was in crisis.

“The major disturbance at HMP Long Lartin has once again raised significant concerns about safety, order and control in our prisons.

“What is particularly concerning about this disturbance is that HMP Long Lartin is a high security prison housing some of the most dangerous prisoners in custody,” the statement read.

General secretary Steve Gillan said: “Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service now need to take stock of these recurring incidents and sit down with the POA and draw up an action plan that actually means something.

“They also need to equip our members with the resources they need and deserve to do the job.”

This week’s disturbance was the latest incident to blight the high security jail and came less than a year after six prison officers were hurt during a riot last October which again saw the Tornado team sent in.

The high-security prison has the capacity for 622 inmates and is believed to currently hold around 500.

According to a 2018 report into the prison following a serious disturbance involving 81 prisoners in 2017, around 75 per cent of the inmates are serving life sentences.

Evesham’s MP Nigel Huddleston said he would meet Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer to seek reassurances about the safety of prison officers

“It was alarming to hear about this incident which must have been very distressing for the staff at Long Lartin and I am glad to hear it was resolved quickly.

“I know how hard the prison staff work and I wish the officer in hospital a very speedy recovery.

“It is absolutely right prisoners who behave in this way and threaten officers safety will be punished and will face extra time behind bars,” he added.


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