Tuesday 8 November 2016

Bedford Prison Riot: Inspectors Finds Unacceptable Living Condition


Latest inspection finds that living conditions in Bedford Prison is extremely poor. It is also found to be crowded conditions and rising levels of self-harm and drug use at jail.

Conditions at Bedford prison, where 200 inmates went on a six-hour rampage on Sunday, has declined to "unacceptable levels" with illegal drugs more readily available than clothes or sheets, prison inspectors said in September.

A prison service inquiry was getting under way on Monday into the disturbance which was "successfully resolved" late on Sunday night after riot control officers and emergency services spent more than six hours bringing the disturbance to an end.

Inmates flooded the jail's gangways after the unrest broke out after 5pm on Sunday after staff were forced to retreat to "safe areas" within the jail. Unverified mobile phone footage showed chaotic scenes with scores of prisoners out of their cells shouting in gangways and walkways.

Specialist riot officers were deployed at the category B prison in Bedford town centre after the riot broke out on Sunday afternoon, with police cordoning off an area outside and emergency services on standby.

A prison service spokesman said: "Specially trained prison officers and staff from the emergency services have successfully resolved an incident involving a number of prisoners at HMP Bedford.

"An investigation into this incident will take place. We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and could spend significantly longer behind bars."

Bedfordshire Police said three men, aged 39, 37 and 26, have been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Prison Security Act 1992.

Two inmates were taken to hospital - one who became ill and another who suffered minor injuries during the riot. Both returned to prison after treatment.



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