POA demands urgent meeting with government over prison violence

The POA has called on the government to urgently meet with union officials after violence in Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute led to 13 officers being hospitalised.

Twenty staff were attacked over the weekend, with one officer suffering a broken nose and another being concussed after being repeatedly punched.

POA general secretary Steve Gillan said: “The Secretary of State Mr Gauke needs to step up and take responsibility. This is on his watch and the sickening violence against Prison Staff is out of control. Instead of talking everything Brexit he needs to focus on the crisis in our prisons.

“It can be fixed but he needs to start listening. By saying nothing about the weekend’s violence makes him look as if he doesn’t care and that prison staff are not top of his agenda when it comes to safety.”

POA national chair Mark Fairhurst told union-news.co.uk: “The violence at Feltham highlights the difficult cohort that staff and management have to control.

“This mirrors what we see on the streets of London and Feltham is one of the most violent jails in the country but does not appear on Rory Stewart’s 10 prisons project.

“I now call upon the government to give staff at Feltham the protective measures they need including the ability to segregate these violent young criminals. Once again a violent minority are causing disruption to the majority who conform. Robust management of violence and therapy to eliminate the root cause is key. We will support our members and ensure the perpetrators are prosecuted.”

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