Riot squads have been called into volatile jails across England and Wales at a rate of 30 to 40 times a month to deal with serious disorder, according to evidence submitted to MPs by prison officers.
The Prison Officers Association told the MPs that intervention teams’ from the prison service’s National Tactical Response Group had been called to jails with unprecedented frequency between March and November last year. They had dealt with serious disorder including rooftop protests, hostage-taking and incidents of “concerted indiscipline”.
In a report on the rising tide of violence, self-harm and suicide in prisons, the Commons justice select committee says that unrest and violence in prisons are so serious that action cannot wait for justice secretary Michael Gove’s ambitious prison reform programme.
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