Prison staff targeted in fire attacks ‘deserve greater protection’

By Lucy Ashton

Prison staff “deserve greater protection” from organised criminals following a spate of fire attacks on cars parked outside Scottish jails.

Research by Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay found there have been eight deliberate vehicle fires over the past five years, with a ninth at HMP Perth last month.

Six vehicles were destroyed in an attack at HMP Addiewell in January.

Conservative MSP Russell Findlay, Prison from the inside and Minister Angela Constance.

Russell Findlay says that such “cowardly” attacks are almost certainly ordered by organised crime groups to intimidate staff.

He is urging SNP justice secretary Angela Constance to ensure that Police Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service have sufficient resources to bring to justice those responsible.

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay said: “Dedicated prison staff dealing with society’s most dangerous people should not have to suffer such cowardly acts of intimidation.

“We know that organised crime groups use violence, threats and blackmail to smuggle drugs and other contraband into prisons. But more must be done to teach criminals that they can’t get away with terrorising staff.

“I’m calling on the justice secretary to ensure that sufficient resources are in place so that every single one of these attacks is subject to the fullest possible investigation and prosecution.

“Prison staff should be confident that they have the protection and support they deserve. If any other occupation suffered so many targeted attacks, there would be an understandable uproar — so, why should they be expected to put up with it?”

Top picture: Prison officers giving inmates advice on drug abuse.


Leave a Reply