Violence at Rye Hill prison 'increasing'

Violent incidents at Rye Hill prison have increased over the past year, a report has found.

They include attacks between inmates and against staff, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) said.

The jail, on the Warwickshire-Northamptonshire border, is changing from a mainstream prison to house only sex offenders.

The IMB said inmates talked of "low level unease", over disruption as a result of the transformation.

Its report covered the period between April 2013 and March 2014 and highlighted several "strategic and operational changes" that took place at the G4S-run category B prison over the year, prompting "inevitable periods of instability".

'No action response'

Major concerns have been over the "levels of violence and serious incidents which have remained higher than previous years and has included assaults on both staff and other prisoners", the IMB report said.

However, it concluded that once the change to a sex offender-only jail population was complete, inmates were of a category "less likely to challenge via physical violence", and therefore it did not require an "action response" to the issues found.

A G4S spokesperson said: "Whilst we are pleased that staff planned and executed a smooth transition [into a sex offender-only jail], we note the points in the report and will consider those that are applicable to the new prison."

The Ministry of Justice has yet to comment.

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