Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has called on the government to take tougher action against prison inmates who attack prison officers.
Speaking at a prisons policy debate at Parliament this week, Alex raised the case of convicted heroin dealer and Kirklevington inmate, Paul Manuel, who violently attacked a member of staff. Manuel was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £20 compensation to the officer involved, a decision Alex condemned as “totally inadequate”.
For the Courts to give this thug a slap on the wrist for such a crime is ludicrous. Not only does a £20 fine offer no deterrent to the thugs who perpetrate these acts, but it gives the impression that prison staff are not being supported by the courts and the government in the way they should be.
The government needs to remember that it has a duty of care not just towards inmates, but also to prison staff who work in very difficult situations every day of the year. Tougher measures must to be put in place to ensure prison officers are protected from these kinds of attacks
Agreeing with Alex that prison officers needed better protection, Sam Gyimah MP, speaking for the Government, insisted that the government was working to ensure that the correct procedures were being followed. Working with the Prison Officers Association, Alex will continue to press the government for tougher measures to be put in place.