Government must tackle rising safety issues in prisons, union says
A trade union representing prison staff has called for the government to ‘get a grip’ on safety in British prisons. The Community union has made the call after a stabbing of an inmate at HMP Wandsworth last weekend. This attack came just days after Daniel Khalife’s escape from the same prison.
Community, which represents some justice workers, has been calling on the government to address the rising number of assaults on prison staff as part of the union’s ‘Keep Us Safe’ campaign.
Adrian Axtell, Community Union’s National Officer for the Justice and Custodial sector, said: “Our prisons sector is facing a safety crisis as a direct result of the UK Government’s underinvestment in staffing levels, with the lives of staff and inmates being put at risk. The stabbing in HMP Wandsworth – coming just days after a terror suspect was able to escape from the prison – is another ominous warning that the situation is deteriorating.
“Far too many wake-up calls have gone unheeded by government ministers – we need action now to increase staffing levels and retain experienced staff, as well as meaningful investment to improve health and safety across the sector. Things can’t go on as they are.”
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Image credit: Thomas Nugent – Creative Commons