For the last 20 years the prison population has increased year on year, it has risen from 43,000 in 1993 to over 86,000 in 2013. Despite this the number of uniformed officers employed to care for and protect those committed by the Courts has remained almost static.

The POA has campaigned constantly to raise awareness of violence in prisons. Irrespective of mental health issues and the nature of the offences committed in order to be held in custody, violence should not be tolerated within our prisons.

It was not until his appointment in 2010 that new Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, Michael Spurr signed a joint Zero Tolerance Policy on violence with the POA. Despite this little has changed.

Prisoner-on-Prisoner assaults continue to escalate to levels that would shock and dismay the general public. Prisoner-on-Staff assaults continue at a rate of over 8 per day every day of the year.

It is unacceptable that within a modern society, serious physical violence in the workplace is deemed as an occupational hazard. It is equally unacceptable workers do not enjoy the full protection of the law offered to colleagues in the Police Force or indeed the general public.


In this paper are 4 stories from Prison Officers who have, during their career in Her Majesty’s Prison Service been seriously assaulted.

The POA call on those within Parliament both in the House of Commons and the House of Lords to demand that the Government do all that they can, to protect those sent to prison and those who work within prisons.

Please support a Zero Tolerance Policy on violence in prisons. With your support, we can help ensure Prison Officers are supported by the Prison Service, Police Service, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Courts.

Together, we can drive home the point that violence is not acceptable in our prisons.

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.