“We could have been talking about the death of a prison officer” – POA condemns Whitemoor attack

The POA has condemned yesterday’s “vicious and cowardly” attack on prison staff at HMP Whitemoor.

Two prisoners on ‘A’ Wing at the high security jail attacked a prison officer from behind with bladed weapons. Both attackers were wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt which was later found to be fake but staff at Whitemoor would not have known that at the time.

The union says it was a “sustained vicious and cowardly attack on brave prison staff which resulted in hospital attendance for five members of staff. Had it not been for the brave intervention of staff at the prison this attack could have been much worse.”

POA general secretary Steve Gillan said: “I have received a full briefing on this cowardly and vicious attack and there is no doubt in my mind that but for the bravery of staff then this morning we could have been talking about a death of a prison officer at Whitemoor Prison.

“This was an extremely serious attack on hard working staff. I am well aware that there is currently a police investigation ongoing with Counter Terrorism Officers attending the establishment. Whilst a police investigation is ongoing it would be wrong to comment further but suffice to say the POA has long campaigned for correct charges to be attributed to the perpetrators and once charges are laid and proven through the courts that the maximum sentences are given to protect our hard working and brave members.

“We will continue to work with government and employer to eradicate the disgraceful attacks on our members throughout the Criminal Justice System, but we also expect the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts to deal with violence against Prison Staff in a robust and effective manner.”

The POA says it will work with government officials and the employer to ensure all receive the correct aftercare. The POA also condemns the recent attacks on its members at Deerbolt, Holme House and Feltham Prisons. It says now is the time for government and employer to work with the POA to restore control, order and discipline in the prison service.

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