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Prison staff 'assaulted every two days' by inmates

Statistics show that there were 190 recorded assaults on staff in prisons.

Attack: Staff are being assaulted in prisons.
Attack: Staff are being assaulted in prisons.

A member of staff in Scotland's prisons is assaulted every two days by an inmate.

Information obtained though a Freedom of Information request shows that in 2016/17 190 staff were attacked by prisoners over a year.

The figure has fallen since 2015-16 when there were 204 assaults, but it has risen since 2014-2015 when 170 staff were assaulted.

Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: "We know that prisons can be high-risk places for people to work.

"But it's shocking that staff are being exposed to this much danger in the course of their working day.

"They do a fantastic job, a vital job, and one in which they deserve more protection.

"That's something I've been raising as part of my visit to Kilmarnock.

"Any prisoner who's attacked a member of staff needs to be dealt with severely, so they know the consequences of such action just simply won't be worth it."

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said its staff faced difficult and sometimes challenging circumstances, but prisons are not violent places.

He said: "We work very hard to make prisons as safe an environment as possible. 

"The number of assaults has come down, but one assault is one too many."

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