Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WALK-OUT; Brutal Attacks on Tees Prison Staff Revealed amid Shock Strike

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WALK-OUT; Brutal Attacks on Tees Prison Staff Revealed amid Shock Strike

Article excerpt

Byline: By WILL SUTTON

GRAPHIC details of brutal attacks on prison staff on Teesside emerged today as officers went on national strike for the first time in 68 years. Incidents in Holme House Prison include one officer being stabbed with a glass jar while another had his jaw broken only two weeks ago.

Up to 100 officers from the Stockton prison left their posts today to picket over pay issues as well as the rising tide of violence inside jails.

Staff revealed that one worker had to bemedically retired due to post traumatic stress disorder after a serious assault.

Tony Kidd, the Prison Officers' Association representative, said another man had been scalded only two months ago by a prisoner.

Mr Kidd, 40, from Stockton, said: "The strike today is the accumulation of a number of things over time.We are unhappy about the number of assaults on staff which has increased dramatically.

"We have had a couple of staff seriously hurt.

"One person has been scalded and an officer was medically retired after a serious assault.

"Once prisoners come inside, the public think that's it but it's not the end of the problem.

"Some of these people have mental health problems and prison is not always the place for them.

"You also have more weapons being found than before.

"Prisoners form gangs if they are from certain areas and we have a lot of West coast lads from Manchester and Liverpool. They are frustrated because they have been moved here and they are not getting their visits."

Mr Kidd said other issues relating to the strike were pay rises, overcrowding and staff shortages in what was a day of strike action across the country.

He added "We feel the prison service is not listening to the POA.

"The pay reward that was offered was below inflation and staged, which meant it was diluted.

"We feel we are under-valued and we need to show the prison service that we mean business. …

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