Prisoners in second night of rampage at riot jail

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Prisoners at Everthorpe jail went on the rampage last night for the second time in 24 hours.

Police and prison officers in riot gear were called to the jail in Humberside after the alarm was raised shortly before 8pm. Police were inside the jail last night trying to restore order in E, A and B wings.

At least one person was injured and was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary. Three fire appliances were called to the scene. Police dog-handlers were standing by outside the jail. A police spokesman described the situation as "an incident similar to that of Monday evening".

On Monday, more than 60 inmates rioted for eight hours. Two small fires were started, but the rioters caused no structural damage. Part of the building had been flooded by broken water pipes, and doors, windows and furniture broken in both wings.

After the first outbreak of trouble, Judge Stephen Tumim, the inspector of prisons, said on Channel 4 News that the training of prison staff in the increasingly dangerous job of controlling difficult young offenders was "very inadequate". Problems of controlling inmates were "as old as prisons themselves", and he had drawn attention to this in his reports.

But Derek Lewis, director of the Prison Service, said the way in which the staff had coped with the initial outbreak was a measure of efficient organisation of difficult inmates.

Mr Lewis said the disturbance, quelled by prison staff without assistance from 50 police officers on standby outside the jail, was a reminder of the difficulties of the service's work.

The local branch of the Prison Officers' Association (POA) complained on Sunday to the governor that under-staffing had created a dangerous situation. It was made volatile by overcrowding from an influx of prisoners categorised as needing more secure accommodation than Everthorpe could provide.

Mr Lewis said: "At no time was there any danger to the public. The perimeter remained secure throughout.

"No injuries to staff or prisoners were reported. We have 50,000 prisoners, none of whom wish to be in prison. They don't like the proper discipline they are kept under. They are often disruptive and sometimes violent."

The Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, Alan Beith, called on Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, and Mr Lewis to resign in the wake of the first riot.

"They cannot go on evading responsibility for what has happened. They should both go," he said.

Everthorpe, a former borstal near Brough, held about 230 Category C inmates, twice the total it was built to accommodate. The police said 66 inmates had been transferred after the riot; investigation of the disturbance would take 20 officers up to three weeks A Prison Service spokeswoman said the wing at the centre of Monday night's rioting would remain closed for a week, but added that the damage was much less severe than initially thought.

"It looked bad at first, but the damage has now been estimated at less than £10,000," she said. "It will take a week to do the repairs because there are a lot of things to do.

"But the damage is mainly broken windows and light fittings."

Prison riot "success", page 2

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