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Two prison officers at HMP Elmley in Eastchurch taken to hosptial after assault by allegedly intoxicated inmate

By Lewis Dyson

A pair of prison officers were taken to hospital on Saturday after they were allegedly assaulted by an inmate who was thought to have been intoxicated.

Police were called to HMP Elmley in Church Road, Eastchurch, at 5.23pm.

Under instruction from the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) inmates were kept in lockdown and staff withdrew to a safe area from 8.30am to 10am this morning until an agreement could be reached with the management over safety concerns.

Elmley Prison
Elmley Prison

Mike Rolfe, POA representative for London and Kent, said that a third officer was also assaulted but did not require hospital treatment.

He said: "Two were seriously injured. One was knocked unconscious and was still being punched while he was on the floor. Both had severe strikes to the head from a very physically-fit prisoner serving life."

He said the POA demanded security checks of cells be carried out for alcohol and weapons and reviews be carried out into staffing levels and on the prisoner transfer policy.

He claimed Elmley has a lot of troubled inmates being moved there from other jails.

He went on to say that staff shortages and high levels of stress-related illness meant there were fewer cell checks for things like weapons, drugs and alcohol.

Earlier this month an investigation was launched after a video emerged of two prisoners being punched in the face which led to concerns about staffing issues.

The Ministry of Justice has denied there was any action taken by workers.

A spokesman said: "Staff at HMP Elmley have not withdrawn labour and the prison is operating normally.

"Two members of staff did receive hospital treatment yesterday following an incident at the prison.

"The safety and security of our staff is of paramount importance - anyone who is violent towards them can expect to face severe consequences.

"We have referred this incident to the police."

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Inquiries with the prison service are ongoing."

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