Sussex

Lewes Prison 'rampage' forces staff 'retreat'

Lewes Prison
Image caption The Ministry of Justice said the prison was completely secure

Prison staff were forced to "retreat to safety" when inmates "went on the rampage" at an East Sussex jail, the Prison Officers Association has said.

Cells and offices were damaged in the disorder at HMP Lewes, which POA chairman Mike Rolfe said was brought to an end by a national response unit.

He said: "It's a serious disturbance when prisoners take control of a wing."

The Ministry of Justice said a small number of inmates were involved adding: "The prison is completely secure."

An MoJ spokesman said: "We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and could spend significantly longer behind bars."

Mr Rolfe said the prisoners involved in the disturbance, which began mid-morning but was brought under control a few hours later, would have been taken to a segregation unit.

Blaming "poor management and severe shortage of staff", he said: "There were only four staff on that wing and all four retreated to safety after threats of violence and the prisoners went on the rampage."

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