Prison officers’ union demands action to prevent the poisoning of prison staff

Responding to the ongoing reports from HMP Addiewell today of multiple prisoners in critical condition due to illicit drug taking and the impact on the health and conditions of eight prison officers, Steve Farrell, Regional Secretary for Scotland and Northern Ireland at Community, said:

“This extremely concerning incident is a sobering reminder of the challenges prison officers are facing across the Scottish prison estate.

No one should live with the constant threat or fear that they might be assaulted, or their lives put at risk while at work. Yet our members are all too often faced with that reality and are being subjected to threats and abuse from prisoners who have access to and are using these drugs.

We have written to the Scottish Government expressing our concerns around the significant misuse of illicit drugs in the Scottish prison estate and have urged them to develop an action plan to stop psychoactive substances and other contraband items entering our prisons.

We will be demanding an investigation into the incident and need to see urgent action to prevent the poisoning of prison staff at work that puts our members’ lives at risk.”


For more information and to coordinate an interview please contact Steve Farrell at or 07920509362.

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. We are campaigning to stamp out assaults in the justice and custodial sector.

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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