Bri­tish prison of­fi­cers protest against vi­o­lence in jails

Daily Messenger - - International -

LON­DON: Thou­sands of Bri­tish prison of­fi­cers walked out of their jobs on Fri­day, gath­er­ing out­side jails to protest against what their union called un­prece­dented lev­els of vi­o­lence and the fail­ure of the gov­ern­ment to make prisons safe.

The gov­ern­ment called on them to re­turn to work, de­scrib­ing the protest as un­law­ful and the Prisons Of­fi­cers’ Association (POA) union said it had been threat­ened with court ac­tion.

The state of prisons in Bri­tain has made head­lines in re­cent years. In­spec­tors warned on Thurs­day that in­mates of Bed­ford jail in cen­tral Eng­land did not fol­low rules and were us­ing drugs. Last month, the gov­ern­ment took over the run­ning of an­other prison for sim­i­lar rea­sons.

Prisons Min­is­ter Rory Stewart said of­fi­cers should re­turn to their duty sta­tions in line with their obli­ga­tions to the law and the prison ser­vice.

“These prison of­fi­cers are putting their fel­low staff and in­mates at risk,” he said in a state­ment.

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