03:35, October 12 362 0 theguardian.com

2017-10-12 03:35:03
Riot officers quell disorder at Long Lartin high-security prison

Teams of elite prison riot officers have dealt with a disturbance at the high-security Long Lartin prison involving a large number of prisoners who became violent, the Prison Service has said.

The trouble started on Wednesday night and had been quelled by 2am on Thursday, after 10 Tornado teams, which are made up of prison officers specially equipped and trained to deal with riots, were sent in. They are believed to have confronted about 80 inmates, some of whom were armed with pool balls.

The incident took place on one wing of the 622-capacity category A jail, a Prison Service spokeswoman said. “Specially trained prison staff successfully resolved an incident at HMP Long Lartin on 12 October. There were no injuries to staff or prisoners,” she said.

“We do not tolerate violence in our prisons, and are clear that those responsible will be referred to the police and could spend longer behind bars.” The spokeswoman declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

Last month two prisoners at Long Lartin were convicted of murdering a fellow prisoner – the fourth homicide at the Worcestershire prison in the past four years.

A generally positive inspection in 2014 found that security was reasonably good and the inspectors said they found a “calm, well controlled prison”. They wrote: “While violence and bullying were few, there continued to be some very serious incidents. There had been two self-inflicted deaths since our last inspection.

“Security and disciplinary procedures were broadly proportionate ... Use of force was commendably low. The segregation unit environment and regime were reasonable and we found some evidence of good and much-improved staff-prisoner interaction. Substance misuse services were good.”

The report of the unannounced inspection added: “Opportunities for violence remained evident but staff supervision of prisoners on wings was good and this was supported by extensive CCTV coverage. The number of actual incidents was comparatively low but some of them were very serious. Although most prisoners said that they did not feel unsafe at the establishment, in our survey nearly half the respondents on A, B, and C vulnerable prisoner wings said that they had been victimised by staff and prisoners.”

It noted fewer cases where force was used than in similar prisons – and fewer than at the previous inspection in 2011. “This was commendable given the challenging population.”