British riot police were sent in to deal with a riot that erupted in the prison Winson Green in Birmingham Friday evening. Police gained control of the situation about a hour and a half after they arrived, according to the authorities. An inmate was sent to hospital.
- It was a serious situation and a thorough investigation will now be conducted, says Minister of Justice, Elizabeth Truss.
According to the security firm G4S, which operates the facility with room for 1,450 inmates, the riots spread from two to four prison wings during the day. According to local media the turmoil began when a prison guard was threatened with a syringe by an inmate, while another inmate took the guard's keys.
The riot is the third case of unrest in British prisons in less than two months. In a statement from the Prison Officers Association (POA) states that the riots are a sharp warning to the authorities that the prison system is in a crisis. The Ministry of Justice has said that 2,500 new jobs will be created as part of a larger prison reform.
In November, up to 10,000 prison officers stopped work, causing widespread disruption in court business with defendants not being produced for hearings. The protests came amid claims jails are "in meltdown".
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