POA Circulars

85 | 04.10.2016


On 29th September 2016 the NEC discussed the detailed analysis, which is available to local Governors and POA officials from the above. It is clear that the information produced highlights key times within the core day when different types of incidents occur. This information must be used to assess risks, review risk assessments, staffing levels and RMP’s.
This issue will be discussed at area meeting’s and it is being considered for inclusion in the future Branch Official Training curriculum.

The NEC are also writing to the CEO of NOMS and the new Secretary of State for Justice on this issue.

The latest Safer Custody Statistics once again show unprecedented levels of violence, self-inflicted injuries and deaths. The VDT provides data that if used correctly can reduce these unacceptable statistics at local and national level.

The analysis of the data establishes the times incidents are most likely to occur. By using this data, you can persuade management to increase staffing, reduce regimes and or activities as part of a review of risk assessments and safe systems of work. This in turn may bring about changes to your RMP and other associated agreements.

In order for you to have the opportunity to discuss these findings with your local SMT the NEC urge all local committees to place this as a standing agenda item on your monthly SMT/POA meeting.

In May 2016 the VDT produced the following national data:

Assaults on prisoners 1616
Assaults on staff 550
Serious assaults on prisoners 244
Serious assaults on staff 70

These figures have increased month by month and are a damning statement on the management of NOMS and prisons.

The data demonstrates that most incidents occur between:

08.00 and 11.00
14.00 and 17.00

The data also provides reasons as to why the acts of violence occurred for example:
Retaliation, other argument, bullying, debt, gang related, drug and alcohol.

All of these issues can and must be risk assessed to minimise the risk of violence to prisoners and staff alike.

The NEC are aware that some branches already use this information and discuss it with the local SMT. If local officials have evidence of where they have brought about change using VDT please forward these to your NEC Representative.

Please draw the contents of this Circular to your members and ask your local SMT to ensure this is on the next monthly meeting and all available data shared.

Yours sincerely

Acting General Secretary