Press Contacts

Mark Fairhurst - National Chair:
Mobile 07968 108284

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

156 27 Jul 2017


The latest Government Safety in Custody statistics outline the failures of HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services) to protect prisoners and staff from once again the unprecedented rise in violence in our prisons. 

The latest report demonstrates that prison officers continue to work in one of the most dangerous and violent environments in today’s modern society. 

The level of violence, self-harm and self-inflicted deaths, alongside the continued use of drugs (NPS) within the secure custodial prison estate is unacceptable. 

The POA demand that HMPPS and the Government address the crisis in our prisons and take immediate action to reduce the unacceptable levels of violence, self-harm and suicides in our prisons.  Recent reports have highlighted that more than a quarter of a ton of drugs were found in prisons in 2016.  This latest report demonstrates that the Service is being mismanaged, prisons are out of control.


Steve Gillan General Secretary said:

“My members have lost patience with the employer and Government.  They are fed up with being treated with disrespect, ignored and used as modern-day slaves as the management of HMPPS try to paper over the cracks, whilst Government reward those at the top who have overseen the chronic demise of the Service with bonuses which outweigh the salary of some of my members”.

Steve Gillan went on to say:

“We cannot permit to allow the Government and the employer to allow these unprecedented increases of violence to continue.  The abject failure of HMPPS to address these issues and challenge the Governments cuts year on year has again resulted to bring about a Service in crisis.  On behalf of the Union we call on the resignation of Michael Spurr and other Senior Members of the Board who have allowed this situation to develop on their watch”.



All Assault incidents 26,643 up 20.1%

Serious assaults   3,606 up 21.9%

Prisoner on prisoner assaults 19,361 up 15.7

Serious prisoner on prisoner assaults 2,825 up 21%

On average 53 prisoner on prisoner assaults a day

Assaults on Staff 7,159 up 32.4%

Serious assaults on staff 805 up 25%

On average 20 prisoner on staff assaults a day


Self-harm incidents 40,414 up 16.6%

Self-harm individuals 11,010 up 9.7%

Hospital Attendances 2,771 up 12.6%


Total Number of Deaths 316

Self-inflicted 97

Natural Causes 189

Homicide 2

Other 28





For further information, contact:

POA Press Office                                                     020 8803 0255 Option 7