The Ministry of Justice has today announced that assaults on prison staff in England and Wales have risen by 27% in the past 12 months. Adrian Axtell, national officer for Community, the justice services trade union, responded to the news by saying:
“Yet again, the government’s own statistics show that prison staff are facing unprecedented levels of violence when they turn up for work. Community members working in prisons play an important role in keeping us all safe, but too many of them are facing dangerous situations whist trying to do the job.
“Every few months we see new numbers that show this problem is only getting worse across the entire estate. Community’s campaign for a safer justice sector has seen the union working nationally and locally with employers to try and reduce the unacceptable levels of violence within our prisons.
“After eight years in power, serious government action is long overdue. Ministers must work with employers to properly staff prison wings, and ensure officers get the training and equipment they need to do the job safely. Community represents thousands of staff across the justice sector, and I am pleased that prisons minister, Rory Stewart, will meet with Community next week to discuss how we can work in partnership to tackle this crisis in our prisons.”