Murdo Fraser calls for better protection for both staff and inmates at Perth Prison

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has called for better protection for staff and inmates at Perth Prison following the release of figures which show there has been more than 80 prisoner assaults on staff in four years.

The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, was reacting to statistics obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which also reveal that the number of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults amounted to 318 from 2015 up to April 22, 2019.

The data also showed that the total number of fights in Perth Prison during this time amounted to 188, with 84 assaults by prisoners on staff working there.

The prison is no stranger to violence with a riot taking place in the prison during the 2016/17 financial year costing taxpayers nearly £40,000. Rioting inmates set fire to a pool table in Perth Prison’s C-Hall, prompting an evacuation.

The figures in the FOI show the overall number of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults stayed almost at the same level in the four-year period – rising from 70 in 2015 to 74 in 2018.

Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “These figures show a pretty steady picture over recent years, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the level of incidents is far too high.

“We know Perth can be quite a violent prison and these figures confirm that. This is despite all the good work done by the staff.

“Our first concern must be for them and we need to consider how we can better protect both them and the inmates.”

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