10,000 Prison Officers Protest Due to Health and Safety Concerns
The Jo Cox murder trial has been put on hold
The Prison Officers Association (POA) has asked all of its members to take part in a day of protect after negotiations with the British government broke down, according to a report. The protest comes after a number of incidents at prisons, including alleged murder, riots, and escaped inmates.
The Ministry of Justice has claimed the act to be unjustified, and called it unlawful.
"Every prison officer in England is commencing a protest outside their establishment against the disregard for health and safety of our prison officers and prisoners,” said Steve Gillan, the POA’s general secretary.
Gillan says officers will provide emergency cover for fires and medical incidents in order to protect the well-being of prisoners. Prison officers cannot take part in a strike by law, something Gillan admits.
"The POA has consistently raised the volatile and dangerous state of prisons, as chronic staff shortages and impoverished regimes have resulted in staff no longer being safe, a lack of discipline and prisoners taking control of area,” a union spokesman said. “The continued surge in violence and unprecedented levels of suicide and acts of self-harm, coupled with the recent (alleged) murder and escapes, demonstrate that the service is in meltdown."