Prisoners took control of an entire cell block during a riot that broke out at Ranby prison in Retford today (Saturday 26th July).
The Prison Officers’ Association confirmed the disturbance at around 12.30pm.It is understood that around 60-70 prisoners were involved.
There were also reports of a fire at the prison, although this was denied by the Ministry of Justice.
At around 6.40pm there were reports that prisoners had taken control of a unit at the jail.
Glyn Travis, assistant secretary of the POA, said: “There is a serious incident at HMP Ranby.”
“At around 12.30pm, 120 prisoners refused to return to their cells. They have taken control of a unit.”
“We have got national resources at the prison trying to establish a surrender plan. We know 60 prisoners have been actively involved.”
At around 7.30pm there were reports of firefighters and prison officers carrying shields entering the prisoners being transported away from the prison in escort vans.
The riot ended at around 9.30pm.
There had been no injuries to staff or prisoners.
The Ministry of Justice said: “The disturbance at HMP Ranby has ended safely. No staff or prisoners injured. Visits tomorrow will take place as normal.”
This week, MP for Bassetlaw John Mann highlighted deteriorating conditions at the prison after four people committed suicide there in the past year.
He said: “These issues have been raised with the Prison Governor, the Ministry of Justice and the Prisons Minister in 2011 and 2012 and the warnings were ignored, including the specific warning that the management of Ranby was in chaotic meltdown.”
“Warnings were given but because there was no action taken, it means that these tragic deaths have been disasters waiting to happen.”
During the riots Mr Mann tweeted: “Riot at Ranby prison: gvt were warned by me and others.”
The Bassetlaw MP’s comments came after the Chief Executive of The Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Cook, labelled HMP Ranby, a catergory C training prison, a ‘dangerous and dirty’ prison.
Frances Cook said: “This is a dangerous and dirty prison. It’s dangerous for prisoners and for staff, but that means it’s dangerous for the public too, as men spill out back into communities more likely to cause mayhem and harm.”