Monday, 19 December 2016


Liz Truss will address MPs later about the disorder at Birmingham jail, as new footage shows prisoners breaking into a safe.


New footage of Friday's disturbance at HMP Birmingham
Video:Scale of HMP Birmingham riot revealed
Justice Secretary Liz Truss will face MPs later as prison officers warn of "simmering tensions" that could lead to further violence like that seen at HMP Birmingham.
Ms Truss' speech comes as new footage emerges of the disturbance at Birmingham prison, where hundreds of inmates rioted last Friday.
In the footage inmates can be seen roaming free in the prison, their faces covered, smashing a safe, setting off a fire extinguisher and shouting greetings to each other. 
According to reports, Ms Truss was warned two months ago that urgent action was needed to prevent attacks on prison officers in the jail.
A report by the prison's independent monitoring board found staff feared they would be targeted by prisoners intoxicated on widely-available psychoactive substances.

Prison riot
Video:Prisons boss blames drugs after Birmingham riot
Prison officers are warning that "simmering tensions" could see disorder spread to other jails after 240 offenders were transferred from Birmingham. 
Hundreds of prisoners were involved in riots over four wings of the category B prison, run by private firm G4S.
Riot squads were called in to help specially-trained guards regain control after more than 12 hours of chaos in which stairwells were set on fire and records were destroyed.
A Prison Officers Association (POA) chairman said HMP Hull was "like a powder keg waiting to go off" after 15 rioters were transferred there from Birmingham.

A guard at the prison is reported to have been threatened with a used syringe
Image Caption:Some 240 offenders have been transferred from HMP Birmingham
Rob Nicholson, chairman of the union's Hull branch, told the Hull Daily Mail: "They are trying to incite riots here and we've had a really bad couple of days here."
Mike Rolfe, national chairman of the POA, said he was aware of "some simmering tensions" across a number of jails.
Parole Board chairman Nick Hardwick said plans to recruit a further 2,500 prison staff did not go far enough to prevent violence.
Mr Hardwick, an ex-chief inspector of prisons, added: "It would be a mistake to take emergency, reckless measures around the prison population, but if you don't do things in a planned and sensible way, then further down the track they may be forced into a much more difficult position."