Prisoners transferred after riot

ALMOST 50 inmates from a Suffolk jail had to be transferred to other prisons following a riot, it has been claimed.

Elite officers were sent to Warren Hill at Hollesley, near Woodridge, around 5.45am this morning to put down a disturbance.

The POA - the trade union for prison, correctional and secure psychiatric workers - claim the drama was caused when a number of inmates were prevented from having free and unfettered access to the telephone and leisure facilities following incidents of alleged bullying of other juveniles.

A spokesman also said a total of 48 inmates had to be transferred to other prisons across the country following the riot.

“They reacted with venom, causing significant damage to the prison and two prisoners being hospitalised with a number of staff injured whilst trying to deal with the riot,” he continued.

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“This is the third serious incident this year at Warren Hill which has had to be dealt with by prison officers, this time resulting in a damaging loss of prisoner accommodation.”

However a spokesman for the Prison Service strongly denied any staff were injured in the disturbance, which broke out around 7.30pm last night when around 60 inmates - aged 15-18 - refused to return to their cells.

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It is understood three of the youngsters were treated for minor injuries.

The riot coincided with a disturbance at Moorland prison in Doncaster, which resulted in 42 young offenders refusing to return to their cells.

Tom Robson, acting national chairman of the POA, said: “The level of violence in our prisons is totally unacceptable and this incident is not uncommon in our juvenile and young offender establishments.

“Warren Hill consistently sits within the top 20 of the table recording the level of assaults on staff.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with the regional custodial manager to look at resolving these issues and preventing further violence and damage to prison property, which will all result in significant costs to the taxpayer.”

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “At 7.30pm last night, around 60 juveniles at Warren Hill juvenile prison refused to return to their cells.

“Prison Service Tornado teams entered the wing at 5.45am and the situation is now under control.

“The juveniles offered no resistance and will now be relocated elsewhere in the prison estate. “No staff were injured in the incident. Three juveniles are being treated for minor injuries.

“An assessment of the damage done to the wings will be carried out later today.

There is absolutely no indication that the incidents at HMPs Warren Hill and Moorland are linked in any way.

“Prisons are secure and ordered environments housing a complex and challenging population.

“Incidents are dealt with professionally and efficiently by trained Prison Service staff. We will always press for the most serious charges to be laid against those who commit acts of violence in our prisons.”

Officers from Suffolk police also attended the incident along with firefighters.

Officers attended a disturbance by 30 inmates at Warren Hill in July and previously dealt with a roof-top protest by two inmates in January 2009 and a small protest in May 2008.

Warren Hill, on the Hollesley Bay site, is a young offenders’ institution.

It was opened in 1982 to accommodate Category C young offenders in a closed environment.

It has capacity for 222 inmates.

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