Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday, 1 August 2017
  2. A second day of trouble breaks out at HMP The Mount
  3. Riot squad due to be sent back in

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage of the riot at HMP The Mount

Our coverage of a second day of trouble at The Mount prison has come to a close.

Join us on the regular Local Live service for Hertfordshire, when we will have more reaction to two days of problems at the jail.

Order restored at jail

Order has been restored at HMP The Mount after a second day of rioting, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

It says that the disorder had been resolved shortly before 17:00.

Specialist riot-trained officers were deployed after inmates reportedly seized control of part of Nash Wing, which houses up to 250 inmates.

It was reported that prisoners were armed with weapons.

Personnel from the Tornado team were called in again less than 24 hours after restoring order at jail yesterday.

BreakingOrder restored at jail, say MoJ

Order was restored at HMP The Mount shortly before 17:00, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

More on Nash wing..

HMP The Mount is located close to the Hertfordshire/Buckinghamshire border in a village called Bovingdon on the site of a former RAF base.

Map showing location of The Mount
BBC

It holds just over 1,000 criminals, with the last report stating that 223 prisoners were in the Nash Wing where the riots are said to be taking place.

On 28 February 2017, the report recording that the jail as a whole had approximately 130 prisoners (13%) over the age of 50, with half of these allocated on the specialist residential unit where they have a quieter and more flexible regime.

Some 128 prisoners were identified as disabled.

HMP The Mount: More on the report on The Mount

Here are a few more points from a report by the Independent Monitoring Board published yesterday on HMP The Mount near to Hemel Hempstead, where riots have broken out for a second day.

The summarise, the report found that the accommodation is generally clean and satisfactory.

However it did find that...

  • The Mount was never fully staffed to cope with the opening of Nash Wing in 2015, where the rioting is said to have broken out
  • Problems had arisen with showers providing only cold water
  • Difficulties had been experienced regarding the use of the two gymnasiums due to shortage of staff
  • Drugs are readily available
  • The drug problem was most acute in November 2016 when a number of prisoners suffered serious short-term health problems with 70 emergency call-outs that month, mainly for drug related problems, the majority occurring in a single week. There were just 16 callouts in February 2017
  • The Mount does not have enough work and education places
  • Currently there are no gay or bisexual prisoners declared which does not reflect the national picture, so it would seem likely that prisoners choose to conceal their sexuality in order to avoid victimisation
  • Loss of personal property complaints are regularly received by the Board. Most relate to property not arriving from a previous establishment

Video: Second day of riots at Hertfordshire prison

Prison officers are dealing with a second day of disturbances at HMP The Mount near Hemel Hempstead.

The full extent of the situation is not clear at the moment, but the Ministry of Jutsice has confirmed that there is an "ongoing incident".

Here's a reminder of what happened yesterday...

Mount Prison violence tackled by riot staff

'Officers are treating the riot quite seriously'

We've just spoken to John O'Reilly, who's a photographer for South Beds News Agency. He is outside the prison and has just been asked to move towards the end of the road.

He said "there have been lots of prison officers arriving in the last few minutes. They are driving vehicles in to the prison itself".

Minibus carrying prison officers
South Beds News Agency
Prison officers carrying bags
South Beds News Agency

"They are obviously treating it quite seriously," he said.

"I think there are more vehicles here now than there were yesterday.

"I've seen at least six plus a coach full of prison officers go in to the prison. They are all carrying bags but aren't wearing riot gear."

Report found 'influx of drugs' in prison

More now on a report by the Independent Monitoring Board on HMP The Mount, published only yesterday, that found the amount of drugs at The Mount has increased significantly between 1 March 2016 and 28 February 2017, the period which the document focused on.

In particular, there was a big increase in Spice, which is a chemical concoction loosely based on cannabis and only recently made illegal outside prisons.

The Mount sign
South Beds News Agency

The report says that Spice has proved highly dangerous to the health of individuals, particularly the strain "Death" which was seemingly widely available and led to a number of hospital visits.

It added that for some time, The Mount ran a successful drug rehabilitation programme.

However, this was discontinued in December 2016 following the massive influx of Spice onto Dixon Wing - put down to a lack of staff and to cell windows not being "gridded".

With no netting, drones arrived nightly.

This has been rectified and the windows are now "gridded".

The report added that in February, the RAPt programme restarted, with only five prisoners, on Lakes Wing, which is to be re-classified as “the Wellbeing Wing”.

It said the programme is in a state of transition, but the board had confidence that the RAPt team will restore the programme to the level of success previously achieved.

In the papers: Second day of riots at HMP The Mount

Here's a quick look at how some of the papers are reporting on a second day of disturbances at HMP The Mount near Hemel Hempstead...

Locally -

  • Hemel Today: Riot-trained prison officers are in attendance at Mount Prison after a large-scale disturbance was reported
  • Hertfordshire Mercury: Ministry of Justice confirm second day of riots at HMP The Mount

Nationally -

  • The Telegraph: Prison riot squad officers sent into HMP The Mount for second time in 24 hours as 'inmates seize wing again'
  • Independent: The Mount prison: New inmate disorder breaks out after riot police sent in to quell unrest
  • Daily Mail: 'Tornado' riot teams storm the same jail where prisoners 'took over two wings' yesterday amid reports inmates with weapons have taken over another wing at prison where Spice drug is rife

Recap: Second day of riots at HMP The Mount

If you're just joining us, here's what has happened so far...

  • Riot officers have been called to deal with a second day of trouble at HMP The Mount near Hemel Hempstead
  • Ministry of Justice: "Specially trained prison staff have been deployed to HMP The Mount to resolve an incident involving a number of prisoners. The situation at the prison remains contained and there is no risk to the public."
  • Prisoners took over Nash Wing wing following violence yesterday afternoon in which they had control of one wing and half of another
  • No fire or ambulance vehicles on scene yet. Sources say atmosphere is calm outside the prison
  • It's thought at least 50 prison cells were damaged in yesterday's disturbances
  • The prison was built on the site of a former RAF station and opened in 1987
  • It houses more than 1,000 prisoners and is a hybrid training and resettlement prison, catering for number of prisoners who are in the last six months of their sentence
  • Generally takes prisoners whose homes are across the East of England

In pictures: Second day of riots at HMP The Mount

Riot officers have been called to deal with a second day of trouble at HMP The Mount near Hemel Hempstead.

Here are some of the latest pictures:

Police van
South Beds News Agency
Exterior of prison
South Beds News Agency
Multiple police vans
South Beds News Agency

No fire or ambulance service on the scene

We've just heard from a source outside the prison who says that it all seems pretty calm at the moment.

Unlike yesterday, there are yet to be any fire engines or ambulances on the scene.

Prison 'reasonably safe' according to report

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

In the last report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, based on a visit over a week in April 2015, the prison was said to be "reasonably safe" and "strikingly calm".

However, the report also said the prison had some "safety weaknesses" and had not fully embedded lessons from previous deaths in custody.

Prisoners told inspectors drugs and alcohol were "easily available", despite efforts by prison staff to prevent this.

Accommodation on Nash Wing, the wing prisoners are reported to have taken over today, was described as "excellent" with "plentiful light and good facilities".

Prison had 'all ingredients' to suffer disorder

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

According to a report by the Independent Monitoring Board published only yesterday, The Mount prison had "all the ingredients" for disorder last summer.

There were "staff shortages, readily available drugs and mounting violence".

The report credits the new prison governor and his staff as the reason why it ended 2016 as a safe prison "where prisoners have a good chance of rehabilitation."

In the year from 1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017, the board said violence towards staff and prisoner fights and assaults "grew considerably".

Due to this, a revised "safer custody" strategy was introduced to prevent further violence.

At the scene: 'No obvious sign of activity at the prison'

John O'Reilly, a news photographer, is outside HMP The Mount.

He said there is "no obvious sign of activity" but has been told by sources that emergency services are on their way.

"Yesterday there were several police cars here but they're not here as yet," he said.

Nash Wing opened in 2015

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

There are reports that prisoners armed with weapons have taken over Nash Wing at HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire.

Here's some more information about Nash Wing.

  • Construction of the wing was completed in 2015 and consists of 94 double cells and 62 single cells (250 prisoners)
  • The wing is where inductions take place for new prisoners
  • In February this year, there were 230 prisoners on Nash Wing
  • According to a report by the Independent Monitoring Board, the prison was never fully staffed to cope with the opening of Nash Wing in 2015

Fact file: HMP The Mount

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

As we reported earlier, there seems to be another disturbance taking place at The Mount prison in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire.

Yesterday, riot-trained officers were sent to the jail after officers lost control of two wings.

The Mount
South Beds News Agency

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the prison, we've put together some information for you.

  • The Mount is located in Bovingdon village near Hemel Hempstead
  • It opened in 1987
  • The facility is classed as a Category C male prison
  • It's built on a former RAF base and has more than 1,000 prisoners, according to the Ministry of Justice
  • The prison is described as a "hybrid training and resettlement prison" for inmates in the final six months of their sentences

'Tornado' squads being readied for second day of trouble at prison

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

The Ministry of Justice, which runs prisons in the UK, has confirmed there is an "ongoing incident" at HMP The Mount.

A spokesperson said specialist riot-trained prison staff were being dispatched to the jail in Bovingdon, for the second day running.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice says an incident at Erlestoke Prison in Wiltshire is over.

What happened yesterday?

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

As we are hearing there appears to be more trouble at HMP The Mount prison in Bovingdon near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

Yesterday, riot-trained staff were sent to the jail after violence broke out on two of prison's wings.

The "tornado team" arrived at the jail at about 18:30, equipped with shields and batons while fire, police and ambulance crews were on standby outside.

Officers at The Mount
South Beds News Agency

The Ministry of Justice said late last night the incident had been "resolved" and no staff or prisoners had been injured.

It revealed officers had dealt with an "incident involving a number of prisoners".

Our Home Affairs Correspondent, Danny Shaw, says well-placed sources say there is yet another disturbance at the prison today.

We will bring you more information as soon as we have it.

Prisoners armed with weapons, sources say

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

There is more trouble at the HMP The Mount prison in Hertfordshire.

Well-placed sources say prisoners armed with weapons have taken over Nash Wing.

Staff have retreated and Tornado teams are being dispatched to the jail.

HMP The Mount
South Beds News Agency

It's thought at least 50 prison cells were damaged in yesterday's disturbances.

The Ministry of Justice has been contacted but has not responded to requests for information so far.