Mike Rolfe - National Chair:
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Steve Gillan – General Secretary:
Mobile 07971 838590
Glyn Travis - Press Officer:
Mobile 07968 324045
POA Press Office:
020 8803 0255 Option 7
POA Press Releases
Leaders of the POA pay tribute to the magnificent response of Prison Officers POA members from throughout the prison estate to restore good order at HMP Birmingham on Friday the 16th of December exactly a month after the very same members took protest action to raise public awareness of the state of our prisons.
Once again the prison service and Ministry for Justice has been forced to rely on the goodwill of staff to deal with a difficult and dangerous situation.
The next 72 hours will be critical as approximately 250 prisoners will be transferred and other prisons forced to deal with an influx of prisoners, staff shortfalls and a service that is in meltdown.
The current state of our prisons is down to the systematic failure of previous administration.
Leaders of the POA have stated that unless the current administration listens to their members and the union the public will be at risk of further disturbances.
The level of violence, access to drugs and mobile phones within every prison is without doubt an underlying factor but chronic staff shortages and the unprecedented number of leavers has to be a serious cause for concern.
Mike Rolfe POA National Chair stated that the public should not be surprised by this riot and warned that similar situations are inevitable if change is not introduced quickly. He went on to say, the union has consistently warned the Government and NOMS of the problems but they have sat on their hands for too long and the deep rooted problems may take years to rectify.
Steve Gillan POA general secretary said, The government's white paper on reform and promise of investment will only paper over the cracks.
The service needs a complete overhaul and the starting point has to be how to retain and recruit staff.
The policy during the last six years of cuts and more cuts has brought the prison system to a point of no return. The government and NOMS must take immediate action to start dealing with this crisis.
On behalf of the POA and the public I would like to pay tribute to those staff who responded and restored order and to those staff who will have to deal with the aftermath in all prisons.
For further information contact:
POA Press Office 020 8803 0255 Option 7