Four prisoners were injured in a riot between inmates at a Staffordshire jail. Around 20 prisoners armed with chairs and table legs attacked staff at Swinfen Hall prison near Lichfield, Staffordshire, on Thursday (10 December).
Five inmates barricaded themselves into a cell as specialist warders fought to restore order. The jail was locked down while fire, ambulance and specialist warders dealt with the affray. The fire service said it had dealt with two small cell fires.
Officials said four prisoners were injured during the incident in D wing. While there have been reports that a prison officer suffered a suspected broken jaw, while another had head and face injuries, The Ministry of Justice claimed there were no injuries to prison staff during the incident, but confirmed four prisoners sustained minor injuries
The Prison Service described the events as an "incident of indiscipline", but would not confirm if the lockdown was sparked by a riot. "Specially-trained prison officers dealt with an incident of indiscipline at YOI Swinfen Hall on Thursday. Emergency services also attended the scene. The incident was resolved ... and the prison is operating as normal," a statement read.
One resident who lives nearby, described chaotic scenes as emergency services arrived at the prison. "There were up to 15 police cars, all the police had their body armour on, with police dogs - the lot. It was madness. You could hear the prisoners shouting.
"We've been up all night. We spoke to a security guard who said prisoners had taken over a wing. They had turned the taps on and had flooded the wing out and were threatening to set it on fire. Somebody was injured in there but they wouldn't allow the officers on to the wing."
A relative of one of the inmates on D-wing said many prisoners had felt frustrated following an outbreak of tuberculosis at the prison in May.
The jail houses 600 long-term young men serving sentences from four years to life. It has a recent history of disturbances, including a riot in August when four prisoners were injured and a fire broke out.
According to Sky News, a report last year by the prison's independent monitoring board concluded that budget cuts and staff shortages were making it difficult to guarantee the safety of inmates.
Details of the riot emerged on Saturday 12 December.