In Brief

Fears of more violence after Birmingham inmates riot

Justice Secretary Liz Truss is to address the House of Commons today following warnings that urgent action is needed

UK prisons are facing "simmering tensions" and the possibility of further violence after inmates took part in large-scale disorder at HMP Birmingham.

Video footage emerged over the weekend that appeared to show hundreds of inmates rioting on Friday. They were seen in the footage walking freely around the prison, setting off a fire extinguisher and attempting to destroy a safe.

"Prison officers are warning that 'simmering tensions' could see disorder spread to other jails after 240 offenders were transferred from Birmingham," reports Sky News.

Following the riot, several inmates were taken to Hull prison, where further disturbances were later reported.

Mike Rolfe, chairman of the Prison Officers' Association (POA), told The Guardian: "We understand 15 prisoners were transferred to Hull and one of those prisoners, thought to be involved in inciting the riots along with others at Birmingham, assaulted a senior officer yesterday."

The situation at Hull was described by Rob Nicholson, chairman of the Hull branch of the POA, as "a powder keg" that is "waiting to go off" during an interview with the Hull Daily Mail.

"They are trying to incite riots and we've had a really bad couple of days here. I've spoken to very experienced prison officers this morning and they tell me they fear for their safety," Nicholson added. "They [the inmates] were put in one unit, which beggars belief. We wouldn't have expected the majority of people who have come from a disturbance to be put in the one room, but that was the decision that was taken."

Justice Secretary Liz Truss will face MPs in the House of Commons today to address the current state of UK prisons and what can be done to alleviate the risk of further violence.

According to Sky News, Truss had been warned by prison authorities two months ago that "urgent action was needed to prevent attacks on prison officers in the jail".

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