FOURTH JAIL TERM FOR SILENT FATHER

A former insurance salesman who abducted his daughter on her third birthday more than two years ago and refuses to reveal her whereabouts was today handed a fourth consecutive jail term by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Moor said Razwan Ali Anjum, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, was in contempt of a High Court order instructing him to give details of five-year-old Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson’s whereabouts.

The judge imposed a 12-month prison sentence at a High Court hearing in London and said Anjum, who is in his late 20s, would not be eligible for release until he had served at least six months.

Judges have previously imposed jail terms of two years, 12 months and 12 months in the hope that Anjum would provide information so that Atiya could be re-united with mother Gemma Wilkinson, who is in her 30s and also from Ashton-under-Lyne.

They have re-jailed Anjum as each sentence neared its end. Anjum was due to complete half of his last sentence tomorrow but Mr Justice Moor said he could not be freed.

Ms Wilkinson, a former charity worker, took legal action in an attempt to force Anjum to reveal Atiya’s whereabouts. Today’s hearing was the latest stage of that litigation.

One judge has previously described the case as “as bad a case of child abduction as I have encountered”.

Anjum, who represented himself at today’s hearing – flanked by prison guards, indicated that Atiya was in Pakistan or Iran but said he did not know her exact whereabouts.

Mr Justice Moor said he was sure Anjum was lying.

“I am certain that he is in contempt,” said the judge. “It is absolutely absurd for him to suggest that he does not know the whereabouts of his daughter and he cannot contact her. I am certain he is lying.”

Judges have heard that Anjum’s “on-off” relationship with Ms Wilkinson ended in 2008. In November 2009, Atiya vanished after going to stay with her father.

Anjum had said he was taking Atiya to Southport, Lancashire. Instead he took her to Lahore, Pakistan and told Ms Wilkinson that she was “never going to see Atiya again”, courts have heard.

He had referred to Ms Wilkinson as “only or merely her birth mother”, judges have heard.

REPORTS INTO DEATHS IN CUSTODY

Set out below are Fatal Incident Reports just issued by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) who is required to investigate all deaths in custody.

Although the Ombudsman can only report on a death in custody after an Inquest has taken place, his reports have come in for constant criticism.

Mark Leech editor of the national newspaper for prisoners, Converse, said:

“In all honesty what on earth is the use of these reports?

“They do not name the prisoner concerned, despite the fact the inquest will have done so and the death is usually the subject of a press release from the Ministry of Justice at the time it occurs – why not name names?

“Also of more concern is that some of the deaths they relate to and which the PPO is only now reporting on, took place up to seven years ago in 2005; it has to be asked what possible use can these reports fulfil after such a gap of time?

—-

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) Update

26th Mar – 30th Mar Feb 2012

Welcome to the PPO Update; a quick and easy way to access the latest reports, publications and announcements from our office. The links below will enable you to access further information about the items.

 

The PPO recently published five Fatal Incident reports;

Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP Full Sutton in July 2010*

This is the report of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in July 2010 at HMP Full Sutton. He was found at about 6.40am, during a routine check. He had a ligature made from a shoelace around his neck which was attached to the window bars. He was 41 years old when he died.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/052-10-Death-of-a-male-prisoner.pdf

 

Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in July 2010 whilst in the custody of HMP Hewell*

This is the report of an investigation into the death of a prisoner at HMP Hewell who died on 9 July 2010. In March 2010, the man attempted to take his own life by tying a ligature to the bars of his landing. He was subsequently placed on the prison’s self-harm monitoring and support procedures. Although they were closed when the risk reduced, staff re-introduced them just over six weeks later, on 22 June, when the risk increased again. The procedures were still in place when, on 9 July, the man was found in his cell. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was 46 years old.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/058-10-Death-of-a-male-prisoner.pdf

 

Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP & YOI Parc in March 2006*

This is the report of an investigation into the death of a man at HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Parc in March 2006. The man was found dead in his cell. He had been remanded into custody awaiting sentence for various offences. He was 44 years of age.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/195.06-Death-of-a-male-prisoner.pdf

 

Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP Parc in May 2005*

This report concerns the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP and YOI Parc on 30 May 2005. The man was a 32 year old single man, born and brought up in South Wales. He was serving a four year sentence for drug offences. The man was found dead in his cell on Bank Holiday Monday, 30 May. Resuscitation was attempted by the prison nurses but the paramedics declared life extinct when they attended.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/024.05-Death-of-a-male-prisoner.pdf

Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP Bullingdon in January 2009*

This is the report of an investigation into the death of a man at HMP Bullingdon. He was found in his cell in the early hours of the morning of 9 January 2009, having made cuts to his neck with a razor blade. At the time of his death he was in the midst of his trial at Crown Court for the alleged murder of his wife. He was 49 years old.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/152.09-Death-of-a-male-prisoner.pdf

 

Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP Liverpool in February 2010*

This report considers the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at HMP Liverpool in February 2010. He was found in his cell around 5.20am. He was 53 years old.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/169.10-Death-of-a-male-prisoner.pdf

If you wish to be added to the PPO Update List please email ppocomms@ppo.gsi.gov.uk with the message: ADD ME and your contact information.

CRIMINALIZING ‘LEGAL HIGHS’ WILL NOT WORK SAY EXPERTS

THE LEGAL HIGH : "EUPHORIA"

Drug campaigners today backed the warning from police chiefs that new Government powers to ban legal highs will not work.

The UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), which analyses drug laws, said simply adding to the long list of substances already banned “won’t make much difference”.

Roger Howard, the UKDPC’s chief executive, said: “We are deluding ourselves if we think that the temporary ban will solve the problem.”

It comes after the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said the solution to tackling legal highs does not lie in “adding inexorably to the list of illicit substances”.

The police chiefs questioned “the extent to which legislation can realistically be used to address active choices being made by (predominantly young) people”.

Mr Howard said: “It’s right for the Government to react quickly when a worrying new drug emerges.

“But as Acpo have said, just adding the drug to the long list already controlled won’t make much difference.

“The police and forensics are under too much pressure already to be able to offer much deterrent to potential users.

“We are deluding ourselves if we think that the temporary ban will solve the problem.”

He went on: “We should think instead about what other powers we can use. Trading standards controls could provide a boosted first line of defence.

“We should encourage retailers to work with the authorities to reduce the damage that drug use can cause, and allow us to bring some discipline to an unregulated market.”

Even the Government’s own drugs advisers have concerns over the new powers, saying they hope a better way of tackling legal highs could be found.

Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), said: “Picking them off one by one is not necessarily very productive.”

As one substance is banned, another one is produced which has similar effects but which is designed to avoid the scope of the ban, he said.

“That happens all the time.

“Hopefully we can find a better way of addressing the problem, rather than just hitting the compounds one by one.”

Speaking at a public meeting in central London last week, he said consumer protection legislation and the Medicines Act 1968 could be used instead.

And he warned that the committee could become overwhelmed if too many legal highs were banned by the Government.

The row follows Acpo’s submission to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the Government’s drug policy.

The document, seen by The Times and confirmed by Acpo, said: “From an early stage, the chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (Acpo) drugs committee was of the opinion that the solution to the particular challenge of legal highs did not lie in adding inexorably to the list of illicit substances.

“A key question for the Government to determine is the extent to which legislation can realistically be used to address active choices being made by (predominantly young) people and to tackle the undoubted harms caused by the misuse of substances taken essentially for pleasure.”

The police would continue to “focus their energies on serious criminality” and “take a less robust enforcement approach” when it comes to personal possession, it added.

Last week, mexxy, which is sold as an alternative to ketamine and has been linked to two deaths, became the first so-called legal high to be subject to the Government’s new banning powers.

It will be made illegal for up to 12 months while the Government’s drugs advisers consider whether it should be permanently controlled.

But the move prompted Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow to say she was tempted to try it before it was too late.

Mrs Bercow assured her more than 45,000 followers on Twitter she would not actually buy any, but admitted she was tempted and “now obsessed with the stuff, despite never having heard of it 1/2 hr ago”.

“Am I the only one now slightly tempted to try mexxy before it becomes illegal? I won’t, obvs,” she wrote.

The ban followed concerns that two people whose bodies were found in Leicestershire in February might have taken some form of the drug after buying it over the internet.

Police warned people not to take mexxy, which was advertised and sold as a safe alternative to the class C drug ketamine, after the bodies of a 59-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man were found in Leicester and Melton Mowbray on February 11 and 12.

Under the new temporary banning order, anyone caught making, supplying or importing mexxy, or methoxetamine, could face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Home Office said.

Simple possession will not be an offence, but police and border officials will be allowed to search or detain anyone they suspect of having the drug and seize, keep or dispose of a substance they suspect is mexxy.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The UK is leading the way in cracking down on new psychoactive substances by banning them while the harms they cause are investigated.

“Drugs ruin lives and cause misery to families and communities.

“Our strategy is to keep drugs off the streets and punish the dealers.”

SEE OUR EDITORIAL: “HAVE OUR DRUGS POLICIES GONE TO POT?” 

MPS RAISE FEARS OVER MET RACISM ROW

Senior MPs have said there must be “zero tolerance” of racism in the police following the disclosure that an officer had been suspended for allegedly racially abusing a suspect during the London riots.

There was shock and anger after it was reported that the officer – named by sources as Pc Alex MacFarlane – told the 21-year-old black man: “The problem with you is you will always be a nigger, yeah?

“That’s your problem, yeah.”

The chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz said he was “deeply concerned” at the way the case was handled after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) originally decided not to bring charges.

According to The Guardian, the suspect was able to record the remarks on his mobile phone as he was being taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police officer on August 11 last year.

After receiving a file about the incident from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the CPS initially decided not to charge Mr MacFarlane and two other officers who were allegedly involved.

However last night the CPS said that it would look again at the case following a complaint from the detained man’s lawyer.

Mr Vaz said that it was now essential to establish exactly what had happened.

“I am deeply concerned by these allegations and the way in which they have been handled,” he said.

“We must establish the facts as to what actually occurred on August 11. However what I have heard suggests that lessons of the past have not been learned.

“If we are to have a police force that is trusted by its public, it has to be trusted by all people irrespective of their race. There must be zero tolerance towards the type of behaviour alleged in this case, not just by the perpetrator but also anyone who observes racist behaviour and does not stop it.

“This is not just a matter of potential criminality, this is a matter of standards and ethics.”

Grace Ononiwu, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS London, said: “Lawyers for the complainant have written to the CPS and asked us to review our decision.

“I have considered the matter personally and directed that all of the evidence should be reconsidered and a fresh decision taken by a senior lawyer with no previous involvement in this matter.

“That process will be completed as soon as possible and is the procedure we often adopt when pre-action protocol judicial review proceedings are initiated.”

The Guardian reported that Mr MacFarlane also said to the man, who has not been named: “You’ll always have black skin colour.

“Don’t hide behind your colour, yeah,” adding: “Be proud. Be proud of who you are, yeah. Don’t hide behind your black skin.”

Shortly before the recording ends, the man can be heard saying: “I get this all the time,” and telling the officer: “Make sure you do a lot with your sixty grand, ‘cos you’re not going to get it no more, bruv.”

He then tells the officer: “We’ll definitely speak again about this. It’s gonna go all the way, it’s gonna go all the way – remember.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service received a complaint alleging a man arrested on August 11 2011 was subjected to discriminatory behaviour (racial remarks); assault and oppressive conduct/or harassment.

“These are serious allegations; any use of racist language or excessive use of force is not acceptable.

“The MPS’s Directorate of Professional Standards referred this case to the IPCC who are independently investigating.

“Following the alleged incident, three officers were the subject of a misconductinvestigation. One of the officers has been suspended in relation to this matter pending the result of the IPCC investigation.

“One of the officers has been placed on restricted duties on an unrelated matter and another remains on full duties.”

SCOTLAND YARD MEDIA CHIEF QUITS

Scotland Yard’s communications chief has resigned after the London force decided to launch disciplinary proceedings against him over the awarding of a contract to an ex-News of the World executive.

 

Dick Fedorcio was facing gross misconduct allegations over the decision to hire the Sunday tabloid’s former executive editor Neil Wallis to provide PR advice for the Metropolitan Police.

 

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded that Mr Fedorcio had a “case to answer” over the procurement of the contract.

 

Mr Wallis’s company Chamy Media was paid £24,000 by the Met for communications advice between October 2009 and September 2010.

 

Mr Fedorcio had been on extended leave from Scotland Yard since August pending the investigation into his relationship with the former News of the World executive, who was arrested on suspicion of phone-hacking last July but has not been charged. The IPCC’s report, which it sent to the Met on January 10, will be made public shortly.

 

Earlier this month the Leveson Inquiry into press standards heard that Mr Fedorcio invited people from leading PR firms Bell Pottinger and Hanover to submit rival bids for the contract that was awarded to Mr Wallis.

 

Chairman Lord Justice Leveson suggested that the Met head of public affairs chose these companies because he knew they would be more expensive than the former News of the World executive, adding: “The point is, this is set up to get a result.”

 

Mr Fedorcio denied this, but confirmed that he initially wanted to award the contract to Mr Wallis without any competition.

 

Mr Wallis offered his services as a PR consultant to the Met over lunch with Mr Fedorcio in August 2009, the inquiry heard.

 

The Scotland Yard communications chief, whose deputy was on long-term sick leave at the time, discussed the possibility of hiring the ex-tabloid executive with then-assistant commissioner John Yates. Mr Yates said Mr Wallis gave him “categorical assurances” that there was nothing about the News of the World phone-hacking case that could emerge later to embarrass the Metropolitan Police if he was given the job.

 

MOTHER JAILED FOR SEX WITH CHILDREN

A mother of five from Dorset who had sex with two teenage boys has been jailed for two-and-a-half years, prosecutors have said.

Davina Travi, 42, slept with the 13-year-old and 14-year-old as a “reward” after they smashed up a love rival’s car.

Travi was convicted of two charges of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 following a trial.

Jurors were told that Travi would regularly hold parties for children at her former home and let them smoke and drink.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard how Travi had sex with the boys for damaging her ex-lover’s partner’s car.

The court was told the offences came to light when one of the boys told a social worker at his school.

Travi claimed the boys were lying and said it was impossible for her to have sex with them due to a medical condition.

Maria Sciberras, CPS Wessex senior crown prosecutor, said: “Davina Travi, a 42-year-old mother of five children, was today sentenced for having sexual intercourse with two boys whilst they were only 13 and 14 years of age.

“It is a criminal offence for any adult to have a sexual relationship with youths under the age of 16. We hope that this prosecution will enable other teenagers or parents to recognise a similar situation and come forward to the police.”

Travi, of Kinson, Bournemouth, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

COP SUSPENDED FOR ALLEGED RACIST REMARKS

A policeman has been suspended after allegedly calling a man a “nigger” during the London riots.

The officer, who sources named as Pc Alex MacFarlane of the Metropolitan Police, was apparently recorded by the suspect on his mobile phone as he was taken into custody.

The Guardian reported the officer told the 21-year-old black man: “The problem with you is you will always be a nigger, yeah?

“That’s your problem, yeah.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated and passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after the man passed the recording to other police officers.

The CPS decided not to charge Mr MacFarlane or two other officers but tonight confirmed they would assess the file again after the man’s lawyers complained.

Grace Ononiwu, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) London, said: “Lawyers for the complainant have written to the CPS and asked us to review our decision.

“I have considered the matter personally and directed that all of the evidence should be reconsidered and a fresh decision taken by a senior lawyer with no previous involvement in this matter.

“That process will be completed as soon as possible and is the procedure we often adopt when pre-action protocol judicial review proceedings are initiated.”

The Guardian reported that Mr MacFarlane also said to the man, who has not been named: “You’ll always have black skin colour.

“Don’t hide behind your colour, yeah,” adding: “Be proud. Be proud of who you are, yeah. Don’t hide behind your black skin.”

Another officer accused the man of being “a c*nt” and admitted strangling him.

Shortly before the recording ends, the man can be heard saying: “I get this all the time,” and telling the officer: “Make sure you do a lot with your sixty grand, ‘cos you’re not going to get it no more, bruv.”

He then tells the officer: “We’ll definitely speak again about this. It’s gonna go all the way, it’s gonna go all the way – remember.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We can confirm that the MPS received a complaint alleging a man arrested on August 11 2011 was subjected to discriminatory behaviour (racial remarks); assault and oppressive conduct/or harassment.

“These are serious allegations; any use of racist language or excessive use of force is not acceptable.

“The MPS’s Directorate of Professional Standards referred this case to the IPCC who are independently investigating.

“Following the alleged incident, three officers were the subject of a misconduct investigation. One of the officers has been suspended in relation to this matter pending the result of the IPCC investigation.

“One of the officers has been placed on restricted duties on an unrelated matter and another remains on full duties.”

COPS IN PAY PROTEST – WILL THEY BE KETTLED?

Rank-and file police officers are to stage a protest over proposed changes to their pay and conditions – but they be kettled by their colleagues?.

The Police Federation, which would not confirm what its plans will involve, said it is planning to hold an event in central London on May 10.

It comes as the federation’s 135,000 members across England and Wales are being balloted on whether they want the right to strike.

Along with the armed forces and prison officers, the police are banned in law from taking industrial action.

Many officers are angry with the Government in the wake of 20% budget cuts and proposals for the most wide-ranging reform of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years.

The national federation said the event would “highlight officer concerns about cuts to policing”.

It has previously said the event would show “the unprecedented attack on policing by this Government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety”.

Its Greater Manchester branch added that it would be “arranging for officers to go to London and show the world their anger at these impractical and unworkable proposals”.

Tom Winsor’s 18-month review of police pay and conditions signalled the end of a job for life as he called for the ban on chief constables making officers redundant to be lifted in the face of budget cuts.

The current pay system, which was based on a 1920s’ design of rewarding years of service, should be overhauled and replaced with one that recognised hard work and merit instead, he said.

He also called for annual fitness tests to be brought in, with those who repeatedly fail at risk of being docked almost £3,000 and, in the most extreme cases, sacked for unsatisfactory performance.

A new educational requirement should also be brought in, with applicants needing the equivalent of three A-levels at grades A to C, along with direct entry for civilians into the ranks of inspector and superintendent.

The review also said the starting salary for police constables should be cut from the current £23,500 to £19,000 for someone with no police-related experience.

Among the 121 recommendations, the report said there should be higher pay for more demanding jobs, pay linked to skills and performance rather than length of service, and an allowance for working unsocial hours, defined as outside 8am to 6pm.

It also called for the pension age for officers to be raised to 60, in line with Lord Hutton’s recommendations.

But previous attempts to overhaul police pay and conditions have failed in the face of fierce opposition from rank-and-file officers.

The last review, carried out in June 1993 by Sir Patrick Sheehy under then-home secretary Kenneth Clarke, recommended abolishing jobs for life, introducing fixed terms of service and scrapping overtime payments.

But most of the recommendations were never implemented after a high-profile campaign by the Police Federation.

Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith also tried to save money in 2008 by rejecting a recommended pay increase – but again was forced to back down after officers marched in London.

Later, Greater Manchester Chief Constable Peter Fahy said he “cannot see any of these changes happening quickly”.

“Staff do not need reminding that we are already under a two-year pay and increment freeze and pay will only increase by about 1% after that,” he said.

“Next month many officers will see an increase in their pension contributions.

“That means there is little scope to bring in further changes when staff are already taking such a substantial hit.

“There is also no spare cash about to smooth the impact of any changes.”

Mr Fahy, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead for workforce development, wrote on Acpo’s blog: “Chief constables do not believe that police officers are overpaid.

“But we do believe that the current way of developing and rewarding our staff does not always allow us to get the best out of them.”

He went on: “Some police officers are not rewarded enough for the difficult and dangerous jobs they do, while there are also a minority of underperformers who are a frustration to the hard-working, committed and passionate majority.”

Mark Leech editor of the national newspaper for prisoners Converse said: “Its all very well for the cops to protest they won’t be kettled by their colleagues, whereas others with other legitimate reasons for protest will be subject to such deplorable behaviour.”

TEARFUL RACIST STUDENT SENT BACK TO JAIL

After being sent straight back to jail today sobbing and shamefaced, university student Liam Stacey faces the prospect of being thrown off his course.

The 21-year-old was in the final semester of his three-year biology degree when he drunkenly sent his offensive and now infamous Tweets – which mocked footballer Fabrice Muamba’s plight and racially abused two Twitter users.

Despite his apparent horror at his actions and pleas that he had learned his lesson, the rugby fan today saw his appeal thrown out of court.

With the case gaining widespread publicity, his barrister Paul Hobson said Stacey’s future was now in tatters.

A criminal conviction for a racially aggravated public order offence has all but killed the undergraduate’s dream of becoming a forensic scientist.

His incarceration means he will not be able to sit some upcoming exams – and as a result will fail his third year.

But more importantly, next month university officials will hold a disciplinary hearing to decide whether to kick out the suspended Stacey for good.

Swansea University student Jon May, who is the features editor for student newspaper The Waterfront, said there was not a great deal of sympathy for Stacey – despite him once being a popular figure.

“A lot of people have been calling for him to be expelled,” added the 22-year-old business management undergraduate.

“What he said has shocked a lot of people on campus.

“He’s currently suspended at the moment, and a disciplinary hearing is going to take place in April.

“Given what has happened, the whole affair is hardly a good news story for the university.”

Stacey is also said to be inconsolable at the attention his parents have received as a result of his antics – which has reportedly resulted in their home in Pontypridd being pelted with eggs.

Added to that, he has also struggled to cope with life inside prison where a court heard he had “pariah status” among more hardened criminals.

Media law expert David Banks said the legal case served as a stark warning to other Twitter users.

He said: “One of the selling points of social networking sites is how they appear to be very conversational.

“But what you post on Twitter is not the same as what you may say down the pub after a few drinks – and it has been shown the courts take a very dim view of people who post offensive material.

“Unlike an ordinary conversation, what you say on Twitter can be amplified and accessed by so many people.

“It’s been proven around the time of the riots last summer how seriously the courts take people who post abusive or threatening messages via social media – where some were given lengthy prison sentences.

“With regard to Liam Stacey, it may be seen as a harsh sentence, but in doing so it sends a strong message out to the people that if you post a racist message then you will be punished.”

Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said: “It may seem harsh but I think its exactly right, it might only be a few tweets, a few comments, but what starts with racist comments ends with Stephen Lawrence – racism deserves zero tolerance.”

INSPECTION REVEALS LACK OF RESPECT AT HMP WYMOTT

HMP WYMOTT, PRESTON.

Issued 29/3/2012: 0730hrs no embargo

CONVERSE COMMENT: HMP WYMOTT

HMIP Inspection Report : published today – 29/3/2012

VIOLENCE AGAINST PRISONERS NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY MANAGEMENT

On the whole a reasonably good report but there were serious shortcomings when it came to things such as self harm and suicides, no work had been done on diversity (which really means equality) and particularly with black and ethnic minority prisoners who remain isolated at the jail.

There was most seriously no real oversight of the use of force by prison staff – all these things taken together indicate that at Wymott there is a fundamental lack of respect for the treatment of prisoners, and respect  for both prisoners and staff needs to be at the heart of what every prison does in the public’s name.

Mark Leech editor of Converse said: “

“Very few groups in our society have the legal power to use violence against others, the police are one and prison staff are another – we call it’ use of force’ but lets not pussy foot around we are talking here of lawful violence against an individual by agents of the State.

“The use of that force should not be taken lightly, when prison staff use violence to subdue a prisoner it is crucial that its use is documented, setting out what happened, by whom and why it happened – and that needs to be subject to management oversight which simply isn’t happening at Wymott.

‘Oversight reveals trends, which are vital, if those trends reveal that the same small group of prison officers are always the ones to use violence against prisoners then questions need to be asked why every other officer in the prison can get by each day without using violence towards prisoners but these few can’t – it could be hiding staff brutality and that is why it is vital management at Wymott get a grip on this and why it was right for the Chief Inspector to highlight the failure of the current Governor of Wymott to take it seriously.”

Ends

Notes

Converse is the highest circulation national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales published by Spyhole Press, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prisons Org UK Ltd that publishes The Prisons Handbook, and operates the Law Society and Bar Standards Board accredited Institute of Prison Law.

Contact 08450 660011 customer.services@prisons.org.uk

Mark Leech: mark.leech@markleech.com