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US News Prison officer strike ended after 'constructive dialogue'

15:50  14 september  2018
15:50  14 september  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Video: 'Violence in prisons has skyrocketed'

A prison officer strike which triggered delays at UK courts has been called off after "constructive dialogue" addressed union concerns.

The Prison Officers' Association (POA) said staff would return to their posts at 1pm, with those taking part in the industrial action being docked half a day's pay.

At least 5,000 prison officers across England and Wales were expected to take part in the protests, which began at 7am on Friday, over safety improvements in jails and a reduction in violence and overcrowding.

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  Notorious child rapist and killer still on-the-run from prison spotted at Northern Ireland train station Notorious child rapist and killer still on-the-run from prison spotted at Northern Ireland train station . John Clifford remains unlawfully at large after failing to return to Maghaberry Prison on Sunday. John Clifford (56) had been released to attend an appointment but failed to return. His offences include murder, indecent assaults and cruelty to children.Download the all-new Microsoft News app – available now on iOS and AndroidHe was last seen using a distinctive three-wheel mobility scooter with the registration plate EXZ4974, which has since been found.

Download the all-new Microsoft News app – available now on iOS and Android

The dispute led to judicial proceedings being abandoned because defendants were unable to arrive at courts. It was unclear if court cases would resume after the strike was called off.

Prison staff at HMP Wandsworth staged a walk-out © Getty Prison staff at HMP Wandsworth staged a walk-out Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, expressed his "displeasure" after making a decision to adjourn the sentencing of a drug gang at Sheffield Crown Court. 

He said at least two of the six defendants who were in custody failed to arrive at the court and added he had been told a van waiting to transport at least one of them was stuck outside Manchester Prison.

Judge Richardson said: "That fills me with great displeasure. It's taken a long time to arrange a date when a day can be set aside to deal with sentencing in this important case."

Child sex abuser Tom Humphries avoids sanction after verbally abusing prison officer

  Child sex abuser Tom Humphries avoids sanction after verbally abusing prison officer Child sex abuser Tom Humphries avoids sanction after verbally abusing prison officerJournalist Humphries (55) insulted the Midlands Prison officer when a request that he made for special treatment was refused.

The sentencing of two teenagers and a youth at Luton Crown Court over a knife fight in a shopping centre was also adjourned on Friday because one of the defendants could not be transported.

Earlier, prison officers involved in the strike action were warned they were acting illegally.

Prison staff outside Leicester Prison © Sky News Prison staff outside Leicester Prison The governor of HMP Bedford, Helen Clayton-Hoar, issued letters to officers, giving them a "direct order to return to work". Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA, said there was a "rising epidemic" of violence and drug taking in prisons.

He told Sky News: "We can't just keep turning a blind eye to the broken limbs, the smashed eye sockets and broken jaws of our members.

They're people as well. "Everybody has a right to go to work not in fear for their health and safety."

The POA said there had been 116 assaults on staff at HMP Bedford in the last six months and some workers had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder due to violent and drug-fuelled conditions.

Child killer John Clifford re-arrested in Northern Ireland after week on the run

  Child killer John Clifford re-arrested in Northern Ireland after week on the run The 56-year-old was jailed in 1989 for the rape and murder of his eight-year-old niece Sue Ellen Clifford, whose body was later found by disused railway tracks near her Newtownabbey home.Sue Ellen’s sister Deborah Adair has said she is convinced he will kill again. © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Police said he was arrested by officers in the Newry area and is currently being returned to prison.

Prison officers stand outside HMP Liverpool Prison in Walton, as public sector workers go on strike in a row over pensions. © Press Association Prison officers stand outside HMP Liverpool Prison in Walton, as public sector workers go on strike in a row over pensions. Brian Cooper, POA branch chairman, said injuries suffered by staff included an officer who had his head stamped on and required surgery for a bleed on the brain and another who had a fractured eye socket who might lose the ability to move his eye properly.

On Thursday, chief inspector of prisons Peter Clarke warned that inmates at HMP Bedford had effectively taken control at the violent, overcrowded and vermin-infested jail. He issued an urgent notification, which means the government has to publish a response and plan of action for the jail within 28 days.

It is the fourth jail to be subject to the urgent notification process after Nottingham, Exeter and Birmingham.

Prisons minister Rory Stewart, who has pledged to resign if his campaign to tackle drugs and violence in jails is a failure, branded the union "irresponsible" and said the protests were illegal.

He said: "Prison officers do vital and important work and we urge them to return to their duty stations, in line with their obligations to the law and the prison service."



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