Crowded jails `ready to blow'
Wednesday 26 February 1997
David Evans, general secretary, of the 27,000 strong Prison Officers' Association, has written to Richard Tilt, director-general of the Prison Service, to express his concern about the security and safety of jails in England and Wales. He says the crisis has been heightened by a dramatic increase in the jail population to a record 60,000.
Mr Tilt has agreed to discuss the issue next week and has set up a special meeting next month to examine the problems caused by over-crowding.
Mr Evans wrote to Mr Tilt last week on behalf of the POA's National Executive Committee to express "their anxiety and concerns over the increasing prisoner population.
"We are seeking an urgent meeting with you to discuss this issue as it impacts greatly not only on the penal estate but on the safety and security of everyone working within penal institutions and indeed, the general public."
The committee's warning follows the publication of a POA report earlier this week which claimed security at Broadmoor special hospital is at "breaking point". The report was sent to Stephen Dorrell, the Secretary of State for Health.
The Prison Service is trying to gain permission to moor a floating jail off Portland, Dorset, and convert a former Pontin's holiday camp, near Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, into a make-shift prison, to ease the crisis. Mr Evans added the Prison Service had shed 900 staff last year: "Now they are having to launch a massive recruitment programme. That's a crazy kind of management."
He warned there was a growing sense of unease in many prisons. "It has become a powder keg that could blow at any time and place".
A Prison Service spokeswoman, said: "The director- general has taken the letter seriously and has agreed to meet and discuss the issue."
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...