Assaults on staff at HMP Peterborough hit record level

HMP Peterborough
HMP Peterborough
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Assaults on prison staff at HMP Peterborough have nearly doubled in the past year, reaching the highest every recorded level.

New figures released show that there were 297 assaults on staff last year - up from 154 in the previous 12 months, which was the previous record.

The statistics also show there were more incidents of self harm at the jail than any other prison in the country, with 1,809 incidents reported - up from 1484.

Along with a rise in assaults on staff, prisoner on prisoner assaults also reached the highest ever level at HMP Peterborough, with more than one per day occurring last year. There were 473 reported/

Overall, serious assaults rose by 10 to 90, again the highest ever level - although serious assaults on staff fell from 21 to 18.

HMP Peterborough, which is privately run by Sodexo, is the only prison in the country with both male and female prisoners.

Earlier this year government inspectors branded the women's section as 'unsafe' - the first time a women's prison had been given the rating for a number of years.

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: “We had concerns that instability on the male side was affecting the prison’s ability to focus sufficiently on the relatively more settled female prison.”

Mr Clarke added: “We were particularly concerned about safety, and this is the first women’s prison in several years to have been assessed as ‘not sufficiently good’ in this area."

The jail also hit the headlines in January, when an inmate escaped.

Gintautas Urbonas (52) fled from the prison by running a head of a group being escorted from the gym and scaling the “very high”prison wall. CCTV footage showed him start to scale the prison wall “like Spiderman.”

Urbonas was near the start of a 12-year sentence for offences including the attempted rape of a child and child abduction. He was the first prisoner ever to escape from HMP Peterborough, and was apprehended again shortly after the escape. He was later given a further 16 months behind bars.

And in March last year pipe-bomb plans were discovered in a cell at the jail.

The Peterborough Telegraph has contacted Sodexo for comment about the figures.