Nottingham Prison staff walk out over attacks by inmates

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Media captionStaff have adopted a zero tolerance approach regarding prisoners

More than 100 prison staff walked out of Nottingham Prison for a protest meeting about a rise in the number of assaults against officers by inmates.

The Prison Officers' Association (POA) union said 10 members at HMP Nottingham had been attacked this month. Police are investigating five serious attacks.

The POA is calling for tougher action to deal with the problem.

The prison's governor said assaults on staff were taken seriously and there would be zero tolerance at the jail.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said the staff held a lunchtime meeting outside the prison and later returned to work.

Chair leg attack

Joe Simpson, from the POA, said he was "extremely worried about the unprecedented levels of assault against our members".

The association said one officer was almost beaten unconscious, while another needed about 12 stitches after being battered over the back of the head with a chair leg.

"What we're hoping is that senior management will have a look at the strength of feeling here and come up with some robust risk assessments and safe systems of work to ensure the safety of our members, but also prisoners," Mr Simpson said.

"Over 100 staff have come out to voice their opinions and voice their disgust at it.

"We see that as a sign of strength because the members are now saying 'we've had enough of this and we're going to make a stand'."

Mr Simpson added that the violence at the prison was getting worse.

HMP Nottingham's governor Peter Wright said the assaults were being taken very seriously, but it was a small number of isolated attacks in a prison which has more than 1,000 inmates.

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