Action needed to protect our justice and custodial staff

Community is calling on the government and employers to do more to protect justice and custodial staff, following publication of the latest statistics on assaults in prisons.

These reveal that there were 7,229 assaults on staff in the 12 months to December 2022, down 4% from the 12 months to December 2021.

In the latest quarter (to December 2022) the number of assaults on staff decreased by 4% to 1,830 incidents.

However, there was a 2% increase in serious assaults on staff to 709 in the 12 months to December 2022.

Adrian Axtell, Community’s National Officer for the Justice and Custodial Sector, said:

“Community is campaigning for greater protection for justice and custodial staff, so we welcome the fall in the overall number of assaults.

“However, incidents remain unacceptably high, and the increase in serious assaults is concerning.

“No one should live in fear that they might be assaulted while at work. Unfortunately, those who work in the justice and custodial sector are all too often faced with that reality.

“We continue to call on the government and employers to do more to both protect staff, and to support those who have been assaulted in the line of duty.”

Further information

The statistics are available here: Safety in Custody Statistics Bulletin, England and Wales, Deaths in prison custody to December 2016, Assaults and Self-Harm to September 2016 ( 

Keep us safe

Community is the union for the justice and custodial sector, representing thousands of members whose work is vital to the UK justice system, and to public safety.

Community is campaigning to stamp out assaults in the justice and custodial sector.

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If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.


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