80 prisoners attack guards with pool balls
SCORES of inmates attacked guards with pool balls and cues at a top-security jail.
Some 81 prisoners rioted at HMP Long Lartin, Worcestershire, amid claims they were angered by tighter rules on clothes, family visits and photographs, as well as a smoking ban.
Sources said the violence at the 622capacity male prison, which once housed hook-handed hate cleric Abu Hamza, had been fuelled by ‘legal highs’ such as Spice.
Convicts pelted prison officers with home-made weapons and refused to return to their cells, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Riot squads were dispatched to the category-A jail, where two-thirds of inmates are serving life sentences, on Wednesday night and the disturbance was brought under control after six hours. Staffordshire University criminology professor James Treadwell wrote on Twitter: ‘Told Long Lartin been on lock down pretty much every day for a week due to violence, staff shortages, rising tensions. Now a riot.’
John Attard, of the Prison Governors Association, said the Prison Service had faced huge cuts and the fact riots had broken out at a high-security jail should ‘be ringing alarm bells’ with ministers.
Prisons minister Sam Gyimah said: ‘We know the prison was running a full regime and that this was not linked to any shortfall in prison officer staffing levels.’