Scottish Daily Mail

Rioters at ‘superjail’ caused £250,000 worth of damage

- By Graham Grant Home Affairs Editor

PRISONERS who went on the rampage at a new ‘superjail’ caused nearly £250,000 of damage.

Riot teams had to be called in to break up the 14-hour disturbanc­e at HMP Grampian last month.

It has now emerged taxpayers face an estimated bill of £246,678 to repair or replace damaged items – including gym equipment, a pool table and table football.

Despite the destructio­n, it is understood bosses at the £140million jail plan to buy new ‘recreation­al’ equipment once structural damage, including £39,100 of flooring repairs, is done.

Last night, Scottish Tory chief whip John Lamont said: ‘The public expect any rumblings of a riot to be stamped out immediatel­y, especially in a so- called superpriso­n. Instead, the taxpayer has been left with a bill for hundreds of thousands because i nmates can’t behave themselves.

‘The recreation­al items should certainly be last in the queue and steps should be taken to ensure no such incident is ever repeated.’

The disturbanc­e at the Aberdeen- shire facility came only two weeks after an incident in which prisoners held a two-hour stand-off with staff and several inmates refused to leave the prison hall.

After the later disturbanc­e, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) condemned the ‘wanton vandalism’ as ‘unacceptab­le’. The rioters have been dispersed to other parts of the prison estate and any found responsibl­e for the damage will face criminal charges.

The riot, involving 41 inmates, began at 9pm on May 13 and was brought to an end by prison staff at around 10.30am the next day.

The prisoners, in the jail’s Ellon Hall, were confined to one area by grille doors overnight, while specialist officers were drafted in.

The SPS figures came in a ‘damage assessment’ obtained by the Mail which shows the cost of replacing equipment such as CCTV cameras is estimated at £9,549.

Damage to cell doors and the ‘spy glass’ within the doors as well as ‘glazing units’ amounts to £16,280; while damage to pool table, exercise equipment and table football is estimated at £8,000.

About £27,500 of damage was caused to ‘electrical works’, while shower doors will cost £5,000 to replace.

Even the ‘servery’ did not escape the destructio­n, suffering £13,984 of damage.

Damaged ventilatio­n will cost £10,000 to rectify. Sundries and miscellane­ous repairs will cost £22,425.

HMP Grampian, which can house up to 500 inmates, opened in March as a replacemen­t for HMP Peterhead and HMP Aberdeen.

Commenting on the riot, an SPS spokesman said: ‘It would be inappropri­ate to comment in detail on what remains a live police investigat­ion.

‘The SPS is supporting Police Scotland in i dentifying those responsibl­e and where there is sufficient evidence, individual­s will be reported to the procurator fiscal for considerat­ion of prosecutio­n.’

 ??  ?? Riot alert: The emergency services at the scene of the unrest
Riot alert: The emergency services at the scene of the unrest

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