Inmates briefly take control of UK prison
Inmates at a jail in central Britain have briefly taken control of parts of the prison, causing a call for help from across the country.
Prison officers from across the country as well as local police were called to help following the Sunday incident at HMP Bedford, described by authorities as a “serious” one.
Two wings of the facility apparently fell to the hands of the prisoners after they started a riot.
“There’s been a serious incident which has resulted in two wings being taken over by prisoners,” a spokesman from the Prison Officers Association union (POA) told Reuters.
“Prison officers from all over the country are being bused into Bedford now. They will take over the situation and deal with it as a riot and bring the establishment back under control.”
Later in the day, a Prison Service spokesman said that the situation had been “successfully resolved” after six hours of efforts by the staff.
“Specially trained prison officers and staff from the emergency services have successfully resolved an incident involving a number of prisoners at HMP Bedford. An investigation into this incident will take place. We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and could spend significantly longer behind bars,” the spokesman told the Guardian.
Two prisoners were also injured during the incident.
Emergency services were on standby as the riot broke out shortly after 5 pm by up to 200 inmates.
Unverified footage replete with chaotic scenes from inside the facility was also posted online.
According to POA General Secretary Steve Gillan, the organization has already warned “about this situation of violence in our prisons – it would appear it’s coming to fruition. I just hope there’s no prisoners or indeed prison officers injured in the violence.”
The situation is being portrayed as a result of staff shortages in the UK prisons.
Last week, POA chairman Mike Rolfe warned authorities that the British jails were engulfed by a “bloodbath.”