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New figures reveal alarming rise in violence against prison staff

26th April 2018

The justice trade union Community is concerned with the ‘alarming’ rise in violence against prison staff in jails across England and Wales, which recent statistics revealed has hit record highs.

A report by the Ministry of Justice shows there were 8,429 assaults on staff in the 12 months to December 2017, up 23% from the previous year.

The figures further show at prisons where our members work that violence against staff has risen drastically.

At HMP Peterborough, there has been a 93% increase in violence involving a member of prison staff, at HMP Lowdham Grange a 50% increase and HMP Forest Bank a 36% increase.

Adrian Axtell, Community’s National Officer for the Justice sector, said:

“Given this alarming rise in violence against prison staff, Community believes more work needs to be done to reduce the levels of violence and ensure a safe working environment for prison staff.

“Our members’ work is vital to the UK justice system. Community has consistently been campaigning for a Safer Justice Sector to protect our members’ safety, and we have developed a Charter calling for the reduction in prison violence by introducing robust policies to reduce violence against staff.

“The government says safety is a priority in the sector, but these shocking statistics show we need to see more action from the government if they are serious about making our prisons a safer place to work.

“Since the figures were released by the Ministry of Justice, Community has written to Serco and Sodexo respectively to discuss the figures, and to explore how we can work together to tackle these problems.

“Community wants to work with the Government and employers to secure a safe place to work for everyone in the justice sector.”

Community is the leading union for justice, custodial and immigration services.