Birmingham & Black Country

Samaritans alert HMP Birmingham staff to 'neck slash'

Winson Green prison
Image caption The prison can cater for up to 1,450 adult male prisoners

Staff at a prison were informed of an attack on an inmate by the Samaritans, according to an official report by HM Prison Service.

The prisoner was found with a two-inch cut to his neck at HMP Birmingham, known as Winson Green, earlier this month.

He refused to identify his alleged assailant but CCTV is "being reviewed".

G4S, which runs the prison, said staff were already dealing with his injuries when the Samaritans called.

The firm said officers were alerted to the attack when the prisoner used his in-cell bell and was treated on site.

The attack was outlined in an HM Prison Service operations report, seen by the BBC, for the week ending 22 March.

A Samaritans spokeswoman said confidentiality obligations meant it could not discuss individual cases, but it was "not unusual" for inmates to contact them using a public payphone, in this case in the cell.

Whether the charity contacts prison staff with concerns depends on the specific circumstances, she added.

The charity provides a 24-hour support service for prisoners, either through specially-trained "listeners" inside jails or over the phone, she said.

HMP Birmingham was the first in the UK to be privatised, and can house up to 1,450 inmates.

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