DISTURBANCE AT LONGLARTIN PRISON

On the evening of 11th/ 12th October there was a disturbance involving about 80 prisoners in Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire. Long Lartin prison is a Category A men’s prison where about two-thirds of inmates are serving life terms. The prison is located near the village of South Littleton in the Mid Worcestershire constituency for which Nigel Huddleston is the Member of Parliament.

Mr Huddleston was informed of the disturbance by the Minister for Prisons, Sam Gyimah, late in the evening of October 11th and was kept informed of developments throughout the night. When some inmates became violent, apparently throwing pool balls, prison officers retreated and specialist ‘Tornado team’ officers were called in. The disturbance was successfully subdued by the morning of 12th October. Apparently, no officers or prisoners were injured in the incident.

Mr Gyimah made a statement on the incident in response to an Urgent Question in the House of Commons this morning. He announced that a full investigation was being conducted to determine the cause of the incident. He stated that during the prison’s last inspection it had been deemed competent and effective and at the time of the incident, the prison was running a full regime with its normal levels of staff. Mr Gyimah also informed the House that the Government was on track to meet its target of recruiting an additional 2,500 prison officers by the end of next year, and this year alone had added a net increase of 868 new prison officers.

Nigel Huddleston said: “I am relieved that no one appears to have been injured during this incident. I praise the officers and staff for dealing with the disturbance so quickly and was pleased to hear the Minister for Prisons applaud the professionalism of prison staff during his statement today.

I had received reassurances during my conversations with the Minister earlier this morning that the cause of the incident will be fully investigated. I raised this again after the Minister’s statement in the Chamber, where it was confirmed that there will be a full and proper investigation and any appropriate action will be taken. While this is a rare occurrence and the incident was isolated to one wing, I was pleased to hear the Minister’s reassurance in the House of Commons this morning that the investigation will identify any lessons to be learned and he will ensure that, if necessary, these lessons will be applied to prevent any reoccurrence.”