Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Guards Victims of Prison Stabbings; Seven Attacks Happened in Holme House Last Year

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Guards Victims of Prison Stabbings; Seven Attacks Happened in Holme House Last Year

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE CACHIA and MIKE BROWN newsdesk@gazettemedia.co.uk @TeessideLive

PRISON guards were targeted in seven stabbings at Holme House jail last year.

Shock new figures from the Ministry of Justice shows there were 22 serious assaults resulting in injuries against staff at the Stockton prison in 2018.

In nine cases at the Stockton prison, staff were so badly injured that they needed stitches. In six cases they were given black eyes.

Incredibly, that figure is actually much lower than the total in 2017, when 37 serious assaults were recorded at Holme House.

However, this is the first time in recent years there have been any stabbings recorded.

The news comes as the annual HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales report found that among Category B and C Prisons, staff shortages were "so acute risks to both prisoners and staff were often severe, and levels of all types of violence had soared".

A spokesperson from the Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, said: "We have consistently criticised HMPPS and government for the systematic failure to address violence.

"The recent soundbites and promises are too little too late. More staff are leaving due to low morale (and) violence.

"Some governors' attitudes towards safety and policy is shocking but those at the top bury their heads in the sand.

"It is a shocking indictment in 2019 that the government fails to provide proper security measures in our prisons due to money when organised crime is rife."

An assault is classed as serious if the injury includes any of those mentioned above, as well as crushing, broken noses, biting, scalds or burns, lost or broken teeth, and temporary or permanent blindness.

Staff at Northumberland Prison were given fractured bones 11 times in addition to 19 black eyes and 23 occasions where they needed stitches. …

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