First prison officer in Scotland dies of coronavirus

Image source, SPS

Image caption,

The man is believed to have worked at Polmont young offenders' institution

A prison officer has become the first in Scotland to die of coronavirus, the Scottish Prison Service has confirmed.

The man is believed to have worked in HMYOI Polmont near Falkirk.

The trade union Prison Officers' Association (POA) Scotland said it was "saddened" by the loss of a "well-known, much respected member of staff".

A spokesperson offered "deepest condolences" to the officer's family who were coping with an "enormous loss".

They added: "The POA in Scotland offer our heartfelt sympathies to them all and want them to know they are all very much in our thoughts today.

"His loss is one that is deeply felt by very many colleagues across the estate. As front-line key workers involved in public service, all staff have known this day may well come, but it is none the less extremely painful and difficult for all in coming to terms with it today.

"The staff within our prisons are a close knit and supportive cohort, by necessity given the environment in which we all work. We rely on each other every day.

"A loss such as this is always going to be painful for colleagues for that reason, but it is also what will help us support each other through the inevitable difficult times, together."

Scottish Prison Service spokesman Tom Fox said: "We are all deeply moved and saddened by the tragic death of our colleague.

"Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones.

"Normally when a staff member dies in service then fellow staff would have an opportunity to pay their respects and show their support. I am sure that this will happen at a later date when it is possible for people to do so."