Changes made at HMP Peterborough to tackle violence

HMP Peterborough
HMP Peterborough
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The number of inmates at HMP Peterborough has been reduced after a rise in violence at the jail.

Staff at the jail were assaulted 297 times in 2017, compared to 154 the previous year - which was the previous record.

Now the prison has made a number of changes - including reducing the number of inmates - to tackle the problems.

A spokesman for HMP Peterborough said: “Prisons are very challenging environments, particularly over the last few years with the impact of new psycho-active substances, high population levels within the prison estate and a rise in violence and selfharm across the prison system. At HMP Peterborough we have implemented a number of measures to address these challenges.

“These include a reduction in capacity and the increase in staffing levels for the male side of the prison, the implementation of a new violence reduction strategy as well as a revised and strengthened drug strategy which is already starting to produce results.”

A spokesman for the prison worker’s union POA said: “The POA are not surprised at these shocking figures which demonstrate the prisons are dangerous and violent places to work and live. These figures represent a system in crisis and in need of major reinvestment. The reality of life in Peterborough Prison is that violence is on the increase, debt amongst prisoners is a

real problem and drugs are freely available.”

The prison saw the highest number of self harm incidents among inmates of any jail in the country, while prisoner-on-prisoner assaults also hit record levels in the Peterborough prison. In 2017 there were 473 such assaults.

The prison hit another record with 90 serious assaults . The figures also showed there were no ‘self inflicted’ deaths at the prison, while deaths from natural causes fell from three to one.

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

Year of problems at prison

Earlier this year government inspectors branded the women’s section as ‘unsafe.’

Inspectors said the rating - the first time a female prison had received a rating that low for years - was down to ‘instability on the male side’ which was affecting the female side.

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

Sex offender Gintautas Urbonas (52) - serving a 12 year sentence scaled the “very high”prison wall. CCTV footage showed him start to scale the prison wall “like Spiderman.”

And in March 2017 pipe bomb plans were found in a cell