80 prison­ers at­tack guards with pool balls

Daily Mail - - Life -

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.’

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