Major boost in assaults in Dorset prisons as campaigners contend a problem in the jails is a ‘national emergency’

ASSAULTS in Dorset’s prisons have rocketed over 5 years.

The arise in attacks on staff and prisoners, suggested in total from a Ministry of Justice, shows a scale of a charge jail officers are facing.

The boost reflects a inhabitant trend, that jail remodel campaigners have described as a “national emergency”.

Of a 303 assaults available during HMP/YOI Portland in 2017, 105 were on jail staff. And 37 assaults were tangible as serious, a difficulty that includes passionate assaults and those where victims compulsory sanatorium in-patient treatment.

In 2012, 153 assaults were recorded, definition a five-year boost of 98 per cent.

The numbers also exhibit that 188 cases of self-harm were available during a jail final year, compared to only 70 in 2012.

Assaults also doubled during The Verne immigration dismissal centre (IRC), where 65 assaults were available in 2017, 12 on jail staff. Three assaults were tangible as serious.

In 2012, 27 assaults were recorded, definition a five-year boost of 141 per cent.

The numbers also exhibit that 37 cases of self-harm were available in The Verne final year, compared to only 5 in 2012. There was one self-inflicted death.

In Oct 2013, The Verne was altered from a difficulty C jail to an immigration dismissal centre. It was decommissioned for detainees in Dec 2017. It is due to free as a difficulty C jail after this year, housing 580 offenders.

At HMP Guy’s Marsh nearby Shaftesbury 211 assaults were available in 2017, of that 60 were on jail staff. In 2012, 69 assaults were recorded, definition there has been an boost of 206 per cent.

The Home Office has stressed a series of attack incidents during HMP Guys Marsh in 2017 is indeed down compared to a prior year.

At Guy’s Marsh 22 assaults were tangible as serious.

Figures also exhibit that 172 cases of self-harm were available final year, compared with only 67 in 2012.

Across prisons in England and Wales, scarcely 30,000 assaults were available final year, some-more than double a series in 2012. Self-harm also increasing by 92 per cent over a same five-year period, with scarcely 45,000 cases in 2017.

Frances Crook, arch executive of a Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “This ashamed arise in assault and self-injury is a approach outcome of process decisions to concede a series of people behind bars to grow violent while starving prisons of resources.

“This is a inhabitant emergency, and a supervision contingency respond resolutely and urgently.”

Justice Secretary David Gauke pronounced “urgent action” was being taken to residence a problem.

He said: “Assaults on a overworked staff will never be tolerated. We are ensuring jail officers have a collection they need to do a job, rolling out physique ragged cameras, ‘police-style’ shackles and restraints, and trialling PAVA incapacitant spray.”

He pronounced “90 per cent of a additional 3,111 jail officers” would be “on landings by a summer”.

The Home Office says there was a change in a approach assaults are reported in Apr 2017 that might have contributed to a arise nationally.

It also says a lot of a problems in prisons have been caused by drugs, with a Prisons and Probation Ombudsman describing new psychoactive substances as a ‘game changer’ for jail safety. This has led to some-more than 300 dilettante drug dogs being trained, physique scanners and intelligence-led searches have been introduced, and possessing psychoactive substances in jail is now a rapist offence.