POA Circulars

122 | 25.07.2013

Incidents and violence in prisons

On the 24th July 2013 the NEC once again debated the recent incidents in prisons, which has led to staff suspensions, injuries and acts of indiscipline.

It is clear that there are a number of factors which can trigger incidents in prisons. In order to minimise the risk of violence and or incidents in prisons the Executive ask all Branch Officials to press for a review of the following:

  • Risk Assessments
  • Safe Systems of Work
  • Contingency Plans
  • Minimum Staffing Levels/Safe Staffing Levels and
  • Unlocking figures

The Executive recognise that external factors such as the weather may contribute to problems in prisons and other workplaces. In order to address all of these issues fully, Branch Officials must ensure that the provisions of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act are considered including the duties placed on employers.

The NEC also discussed the suspension of members following the use of C&R by staff. This area is a real cause of concern for the Union and is being raised at national level. Another area which has to be reviewed at local level is the unlocking figures for high risk/profile prisoners, following the recent incident at HMP Belmarsh.

Please draw the contents of this Circular to your members attention and ensure management conduct urgent reviews of all current practices.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation on this issue.


Yours sincerely


General Secretary