Two Hurt During Cambs Prison Violence

11 January 2011, 09:41 | Updated: 11 January 2011, 09:44

The disturbance began at about 5pm on Monday, hours after the POA warned of more riots and an increase in violence in British prisons.

The incident at Littlehey Prison, near Huntingdon saw a female officer assaulted and a male officer scalded with hot water.

Just after 9pm raised voices and shouting were heard from inside the prison.

Dozens of prison officers, wearing riot gear and holding shields, arrived in vans and marched inside.

A Prison Service spokesman said injuries sustained by the officers were "quite minor'' and they were treated at a healthcare unit inside the prison.

The young offenders wing where the incident took place, holds around 60 prisoners, aged 18 to 21, he added.

The spokesman said the disturbance was resolved "with little incident'' at around 9.30pm.

"There were no injuries to prisoners, and no further injuries to staff" the spokesman said. "The perpetrators have been identified, and relocated to the segregation unit.

They will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

Following incidents such as this, there is always an internal investigation, which is run by the prison afterwards.''

He said it was too early to say what caused the incident. "We know there was an incident at about 5pm, involving a small number of prisoners, which sparked the refusal of others to return to their cells. It was the incident in which the two staff sustained minor injuries, that caused the other prisoners to get involved.''

He said claims by the POA that the female officer had been knocked unconscious and that as many as 60 prisoners had refused to return to their cells were incorrect.

The POA said there had been problems at the prison, including brawls and assaults, during the past 12 months.

Ralph Valerio, of the POA national executive, said a jug of hot water containing sugar was thrown at the male prison officer.

He said: "It contained sticky sugar so it would stick to his skin. It has seriously burnt his face, but it hasn't stuck on his face.''

Colin Moses, chairman of the POA, said: "Frontline prison staff are engaging in weekly hand to hand combat as prisoners try to take control of our prisons.

The POA has consistently warned of the increasing violence and problems that would occur in the open estate.

If government turns a deaf ear to the warnings issued by the POA, the continuation to transfer inappropriate prisoners to the open estate will lead to more riots as seen at HMP Ford.''