Prison staff assaulted as often as every two days
A member of prison staff is assaulted every two days by an inmate, according to the Scottish Conservatives.
Information obtained under a Freedom of Information request shows 190 members of staff in Scottish prisons were assaulted in 2016/17.
The figures fell from 204 assaults in the previous year.
Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr highlighted the problem ahead of a visit to Kilmarnock Prison, where he’s due to discuss how staff can reduce the level of assaults.
He said: “We know that prisons can be high-risk places for people to work, but it’s shocking that staff are being exposed to this much danger in the course of their working day.
“Any prisoner who’s attacked a member of staff needs to be dealt with severely, so they know the consequences of such action just simply won’t be worth it.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service admitted its staff face difficult circumstances, but insisted prisons are not violent places.
He said: “We work very hard to make prisons as safe an environment as possible.
“The number of assaults has come down, but one assault is one too many.”