Community, the justice sector trade union, has launched its Safe Operating Solutions Charter for England and Wales.
With the number of serious assaults on prison staff having risen to an all-time high, Community is demanding action from the Government and those companies running justice services.
The Safe Operating Solutions Charter sets out the minimum standards that staff deserve in the justice and custodial sector. By adopting these standards, government and service providers could help reduce violence, ensure proper staffing levels, deliver better training and create a healthy and safe environment for staff and prisoners alike.
A cross-party event in Westminster was hosted by Caroline Flint MP and addressed by Community Assistant General Secretary John Park and prison officer Gary van Zandt who gave a first-hand account of what life is like on the front line.
Speaking about the Safe Operating Solutions Charter, Roy Rickhuss said: “Staff in the justice sector carry out dangerous jobs in very challenging environments. Every day, they place themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe.
“But there is a crisis in the sector with violence against staff at an all-time high. Safety standards are plummeting and budgets are being cut. No one should fear for their safety at work but too often our members are assaulted and abused.
“Community, as the justice sector trade union will seek to work with the Government and service providers. We want to see our Safe Operating Solutions Charter used as the benchmark to create a safer justice sector in Scotland and will be campaigning hard over the coming months to help achieve that.”
Download the SOS Charter