Prison officers protesting against prisoner violence

Staff are protesting outside HMP Nottingham
Staff are protesting outside HMP Nottingham

Prison staff across the country are taking part in protests over "unprecedented violence" in jails.

The Prison Officers Association (POA) general secretary, Steve Gillan, has today (Friday, September 14) called for all POA members in England and Wales prisons, including HMP Nottingham, to take protest action outside their workplaces until instructed otherwise.

The walk out began at 7am.

This decision follows the Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke letter to the Secretary of State issuing an Urgent Notification Notice at HMP Bedford following a catalogue of failure.

The unprecedented levels of violence, and failure of this Government and employer to provide safe prisons has been headline news for some considerable time.

The rise in violence against staff in prisons is laid firmly at the feet of Government and HMPPS, who have overseen the demise of the Prison Service over the last eight years.

Steve Gillan said: “The POA has engaged with the Employer and Ministers in an attempt to resolve issues, but they are paying lip service to the health and safety of my members, their human rights, that of other workers in prisons and of course the prisoners in our care.

“Earlier this year the POA commenced legal proceedings due to the Government’s failure to provide safe prisons.

"Bedford with other prisons was placed into Special Measures and commitments made to this union from Government and HMPPS.

"These commitments were not met and we have issued a further Pre-Action Protocol Letter as part of the Judicial Review process because of their failings to provide safe prisons.

“We will now be demanding that the Government provide safe prisons, meet our demands to improve Personal Protective Equipment, reduce levels of violence and overcrowding as set out by Lord Justice Woolf in his report into the riots of 1990.”