Portland prison staff refuse to open cells after attacks

Staff at Portland Prison in Dorset refused to open cells earlier after a spate of attacks by inmates. The Prison Officers Association (POA) said staff had been attacked "every day this week" with excrement and urine, as well as being punched and kicked. The POA said the issue, reported in the Dorset Echo, was resolved when managers gave assurances troublesome prisoners would be transferred to another jail. The Ministry of Justice said the prison was "now running as normal". A spokeswoman said: "There was a short delay in unlocking prisoners this morning. The regime is now running as normal." POA vice chairman Mark Fairhurst said: "This morning the staff held a branch meeting and decided it was unsafe to work in those conditions."Staff are in riot gear because of the unsafe working conditions."Mr Fairhurst said glass observation panels in the cell doors were smashed and had not been repaired, allowing prisoners to throw missiles at staff.