Assaults in prisons rise once again

The government has today released figures showing that assaults on prison staff is on the rise once again.

The number of assaults on staff increased by 5% to 2,110 incidents, that’s an average of almost 23 assaults on staff every day in the 12 weeks, and the number of serious prisoner-on staff assaults increased by 18% to 204 incidents, that’s an average of more than 2 serious assaults on staff every day in the last 3 months.

Adrian Axtell, National Secretary of the trade union Community, says:

“We are deeply troubled to see that assaults on workers in our prisons have continued to rise.

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

The government’s own findings show us that since 2010, assaults on prison staff have more than doubled. Research shows that this has led to “de-facto decriminalisation” of assaults on workers, with 64% saying that reporting abuse at work did not lead to any consequences.

The figures today are a sobering reminder of the challenges prison workers are facing. We are calling for immediate action on staffing levels, legal consequences and equipment to keep our members safe in their place of work.”

The figures go up to September 2021, and include both public and private prisons. Community continues to engage with private sector employers on the importance of reducing assaults on staff.

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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