Forest Bank prison 'dangerous' after 100 staff lost in cuts

The number of officers at a local prison has dropped by more than 100 in three years, making it a “dangerous” place, according to bosses of a reform charity. It follows the publication of figures which showed the number of prison officers in the North West has fallen by 32 per cent. Forest Bank Prison in Agecroft Road, Swinton — where many Bolton offenders are housed — had 204 prison officers in September, 2013 compared to 310 in September, 2010. The Howard League for Penal Form (HLPR), which obtained the figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), said the drop coincided with a rise in the number of prisoners and “an alarming rise” in self-inflicted deaths in custody.But an MoJ spokesman disputed the figures, claiming the criticism is politically motivated.HLPR chief executive Frances Crook said: “The prison system is at breaking point.