POA calls on government to act after “summer of violence”

The POA has called on the government to give prison officers a pay rise, recruit more staff and end what the union calls the “crisis” in prison management.

The move comes after a summer of violence in prisons and the latest incident on Wednesday when 81 armed prisoners rioted at HMP Long Lartin. Once again, the union says, the prison service had to rely on the bravery, skill and professionalism of trained prison officers who put their lives at risk to bring the highly volatile incident to a safe conclusion.

In a statement, the POA said: “The Prison Service continues to lurch from one crisis to another and there is little evidence to suggest that anyone in authority has any idea how to resolve the current situation in our prisons.

“Each and every day prison officers are facing increased levels of violence and being forced to work in dangerous conditions, conditions that many independent authorities are critical of. These authorities have called for more staff and improved conditions to address the chronic problems and demonstrations of the inevitable.

“It is now time for the government and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to address the chronic problems. They must realise that Prison Officers and OSG’s deserve proper recognition and reward for the dangerous and demanding work they undertake in protecting the public from the most dangerous element of society.

“We call on HMPPS to enter into negotiations to resolve the inadequate pay of prison officers, address the chronic staffing shortages and put an end to the crisis management. For the seventh consecutive year, prison officers despite their bravery and professionalism received a pathetic and insulting pay award from the Pay Review Body.”

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