RSPCA Helping With The Investigation
Concern Over 'Excessive Force' At March Prison
An inspection of Cambridgeshire's Whitemoor Prison has raised concerns about staff using excessive force on inmates.
Inspectors say they were also worried written records of these incidents were different to those portrayed CCTV coverage.
A report following the surprise inspection states: "While use of force was low, oversight arrangements were poor and in a small number of cases, there was little use of de-escalation and evidence of excessive force being used; and the segregation regime for a number of long-stay residents remained particularly poor."
HMP Whitemoor held 454 adult men at the time of the inspection, all of whom were serving long or indeterminate sentences for very serious offences.
However inspectors did praise several aspects of the prison near March, including:
- Prisoners at risk of self-harm were generally well supported.
- Security arrangements were appropriately stringent and illicit use of substances was well controlled.
- Support for those with substance misuse problems was very good.
- Living conditions were generally good.
- In general relationships between staff and prisoners had continued to improve, although a small number of staff remained more distant.
- Time out of cell was reasonable and vocational training opportunities were good.
- All prisoners had good support from offender supervisors, public protection issues were very good and a range of offending behaviour courses appropriate to the population was offered.
Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: "Overall Whitemoor was a safe, respectful and purposeful prison which provided some constructive opportunities for prisoners serving long sentences to address their offending behaviour.
However, we had real concerns about the management and application of use of force and segregation which impacted negatively on some of the most vulnerable prisoners in the population, and which were a significant exception to this generally positive picture.
The prison was doing some good work to manage its very diverse population and to understand and address the concerns of the significant number of black and minority ethnic and Muslim prisoners held.
However, this remained a major challenge that needed a consistent high level of attention.
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said: "Whitemoor manages very challenging and long-term prisoners so it is pleasing that the Chief Inspector has recognised the safe and purposeful environment it provides and the Governor and his staff deserve credit for their hard work in achieving this.
They will now use the recommendations in the report to address the areas of improvement identified."
360 businesses have been named and shamed for underpaying thousands of workers a total of almost £1million.
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough would need £800m to perform a radical overhaul of their NHS services, according to the British Medical Association.
Two people have died after a collision on the A16 in Crowland.
Recently Played Tracks
On Radio: Hannah Clarkson
4pm - 7pm
Text 'MUSIC' to 82122
Now playing: Non-stop hit music
Deposit £10 to get a £40 Welcome Bonus - That's £50 to play bingo, slots and more!*
Over 50 tracks to make you feel-good. New album out now...
Find your local four day weather report here.
What's happening on the roads where you are?
Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.
Find out more about some of the companies advertising on Heart.
Get some great ideas on how to advertise your business on radio, online and on mobile.