Prison chiefs urge staff review after dis­tur­bance

Western Mail - - NEWS -

A DIS­TUR­BANCE at a max­i­mum se­cu­rity prison should be “ring­ing alarm bells at the most se­nior level”, the Prison Gover­nors As­so­ci­a­tion (PGA) has said.

John At­tard, na­tional of­fi­cer for the group, said trou­ble at Cat­e­gory A Long Lartin on Wed­nes­day night was symp­to­matic of cutbacks and changes in the Prison Ser­vice man­age­ment struc­ture.

A to­tal of 81 in­mates were in­volved in the in­ci­dent at the Worces­ter­shire jail, which led to spe­cially-trained riot of­fi­cers be­ing drafted in to re­solve ten­sions.

Eigh­teen prison­ers have now been moved to other jails.

Mr At­tard said: “The fact that this is a high-se­cu­rity prison must be ring­ing alarm bells at the most se­nior level. It causes us some con­cern.

“Last year the PGA called for an in­de­pen­dent public in­quiry into the state of our pris­ons due to cuts. It fell on deaf ears. That call has not gone away.

“When we get dis­tur­bances of this na­ture in high-se­cu­rity pris­ons the worry is if there is a po­ten­tial for this to hap­pen again. I think we’ve dodged a bul­let on this. It was brought un­der con­trol very quickly and it’s fan­tas­tic they’ve dealt with it.

“But I think there needs to be a review. The changes to the man­age­ment struc­ture and staffing struc­ture are a key part of this.”

A Prison Ser­vice spokes­woman said: “Spe­cially trained prison staff re­solved an in­ci­dent at HMP Long Lartin on 12 Oc­to­ber. There were no in­juries to staff or prison­ers.

“We do not tol­er­ate vi­o­lence in our pris­ons, and are clear that those re­spon­si­ble will be re­ferred to the po­lice and could spend longer be­hind bars.”

> A girl drives a Range Rover Evoque Ride-on elec­tric car on Re­gents Street, Lon­don, as Ham­ley’s an­nounced its top 10 toys for Christ­mas

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