'Disturbance' at youth institution

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The Independent Online

Police and prison officers were trying to contain a disturbance at a prison for young offenders last night.

Officers were called to Aylesbury Young Offenders Institution in Buckinghamshire yesterday morning. Prison officers had to "fight" with the inmates to restore order, amid reports that the prisoners had armed themselves with tools including hammers and knives and caused large-scale damage. Staff in riot gear stormed the workshops in an attempt to end the "concerted indiscipline". There was no confirmation of any injuries to offenders or staff.

Tom Robson, executive officer of the Prison Officers' Association, said it was a "serious incident" and officers from other prisons had been called in to help.

"My understanding is there is a situation where prison officers are having to fight with prisoners," he said. "We hope it will be brought under control. There have been some officers sent in from other establishments to assist. There are no injuries at the moment. The police are not involved inside the prison but are around the perimeter."

Aylesbury holds up to 435 young men on the site of a Victorian prison and former borstal. Most are serving long sentences and there is a large ethnic minority population, according to a 2005 report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers. It found one fifth of prisoners were "unoccupied" at some point during the day and called for an increase in training and education provision. She said there were a "significant number of issues" that needed urgent attention at the prison.