Prisoners Pose With Guards Helmets Following Birmingham Prison Riot
As a riot at one of the country's biggest prisons intensifies prisoners have taken selfies wearing guards' helmets and posed with prison officers' keys.
Hundreds of rioting prisoners took control of at least two wings of an English jail on Friday, authorities said, in most serious disturbance at a British prison this year, Reuters reported.
Prisoners claim the riots erupted after they were denied medication, as well as becoming frustrated as they were unable to watch TV and because the gym was closed, the Sun reported.
Prison UK blogger Alex Cavendish said: "While one of the officers was putting a prisoner in the cell he was threatened with what appeared to be a used syringe.
"While the officer was distracted another inmate came up behind, snatched the keys from his belt and snapped the security chain.
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"Prisoners have control of the keys. Protocol tells the officers to withdraw to a place of safety and they abandoned the wing where the incident started."
The trouble erupted at HMP Birmingham in central England, shortly after 0900 GMT, forcing staff to withdraw, according to G4S the private firm that runs the prison.
The government has unveiled plans to reform prisons and improve safety, but the Prison Governors' Association (PGA) said jails were in a parlous state because of a decline in pay and the cutting of staff numbers.
"The prison service is around 800 uniformed staff short and the cavalry of the promised additional 2,500 staff are months and years away from arriving," it said in a statement.
More to follow...
Featured image credit: SWNS