Tyne & Wear

HMP Northumberland: Prison 'stand-off' comes to an end

HMP Northumberland Image copyright other
Image caption The prison is run by the company Sodexo which signed a 15-year deal with the government last year

A "major incident" in which more than 50 prisoners took over a wing at a jail in the north east of England has reportedly come to an end.

Trouble broke out at HMP Northumberland in Acklington just after 19:30 GMT on Friday when inmates at the category C jail refused to go back to their cells.

The Prison Officers Association's General Secretary Steve Gillan said there was a "stand-off" at the prison.

There have been no reports of any injuries during the disturbance.

A spokesman for the prison's operator, Sodexo, said: "We can confirm there was a disturbance at HMP Northumberland.

"It was confined to part of one wing of the prison and has been resolved."

"We will carry out an investigation into this incident."

'Concerted indiscipline'

Mr Gillan told the BBC that prison officer Tornado teams, trained to deal with riots, were put on standby on Friday night in case the situation "got out of hand".

"We do not know what has sparked this major incident, but I do know that 50 plus inmates have taken over a wing," he said, describing the incident as "concerted indiscipline".

HMP Northumberland was taken over by Sodexo last year.

The firm has a 15-year contract and claimed it would save the taxpayer £129m.

Last year, talks began on plans to cut 200 jobs at the prison, which houses over 1,300 inmates.

The jail was formed by the merger of Castington and Acklington jails in 2011, but the prison building was built 40 years ago.

It is a Category C jail for inmates including vulnerable sex offenders.

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