Littlehey prison disturbance: Inquiry gets under way

An investigation is under way after two prison officers were injured during a disturbance at a young offenders unit in Cambridgeshire.

The incident at HMP Littlehey, near Huntingdon, began at about 1700 GMT on Monday and saw a female officer assaulted and a male officer scalded.

Four hours later dozens of prison officers wearing riot gear and holding shields went inside.

The situation was under control by 2130 GMT, the Prison Service said.

'Perpetrators identified'

Injuries sustained by the officers were "quite minor" a spokesman said, and the disturbance was resolved "with little incident".

"There were no injuries to prisoners and further injuries to staff," he added.

"The perpetrators have been identified and relocated to the segregation unit.

"They will be subject to disciplinary procedures."

A Prison Service spokesman said: "A number of prisoners refused to return to their cells following an incident in which two staff were injured."

The Prison Officers Association (POA) said there had been problems at the unit, including brawls and assaults, during the past 12 months.

Ralph Valerio, of the POA national executive, said a jug of hot water containing sugar was thrown at the male prison officer.

Visiting governor

He said: "It contained sticky sugar so it would stick to his skin.

"It has seriously burnt his face, but it hasn't stuck on his face."

Mr Valerio visited the centre on Monday afternoon to discuss health and safety problems with the governor.

He was told of the trouble after he left by local members of the POA committee.

He said a prison officer had been hit on the head with a television set in a separate incident at the weekend, and following that a prisoner refused to comply with a search.

Since then, inmates had been "egging each other on" to cause further disturbances, Mr Valerio said.

The category C prison was opened in 1988 and consists of eight units.

The young offenders wing holds about 60 prisoners, aged 18 to 21.

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