Police called to deal with another prison riot


Police and specially trained guards have been drafted in to HMP Bedford amid reports of inmates running amok.
As well as police, paramedics and fire services have also been put on standby to deal with what is reported to be an escalating situation of unrest.
Prisoners at the 500-men jail are understood to have taken over part of the jail in a serious riot, although there are no reports of injuries at the moment.
Steve Gillan, from the Prison Officers Association, confirmed: “We do know there’s concerted ill-discipline if not a riot situation going on in Bedford.
“There could be anything up to 200 prisoners involved. We don’t know how many are out of the cells, some are still locked up.
“The POA has been warning about this situation of violence in our prisons – it would appear it’s coming to fruition.”
Guards at the prison have been forced to make a retreat to a safe place and teams of officers specially trained to deal with riot situations have been brought in.
A Prison Service spokesman said prisoners involved in any riot would face punishment and could spend much longer in jail.
The unrest comes just days after an announcement from Justice Secretary Liz Truss, who is ploughing £1.3 billion into bringing an extra 2,100 prison officers into jails across Britain. Her proposals also include drug tests for prisoners and more freedom to run things the way they want to for governors.
However, the shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon says more needs to be done.
He tweeted: “More troubling news concerning our prisons. The Justice Secretary needs to do more urgently to tackle crisis.”
A report published about HMP Bedford, a Category B prison, and made public just two months ago revealed that inmates believed it was easier to get drugs in jail than it was to get clothing or bedding.
Fourteen per cent of prisoners said they had developed a drug problem while in the jail, compared to just four per cent when the survey was last carried out in 2014.
Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, said when the report was released that standards at the prison were now standing at “unacceptable levels”.
The Howard League for Penal Reform’s chief executive Frances Crook, added that HMP Bedford was a good example of everything that is wrong with the prison system”.