Ford 'Must Take Action In Maghaberry'

One of the North's Justice Committee members has warned Minister David Ford that he must take control of the growing crisis in Maghaberry Prison following the stabbing of a prison officer.

Police are investigating after an inmate stabbed a prison officer in the neck with a pen.

A number of other prison officers suffered minor injuries in the attack, which happened shortly after 11am on Sunday.

The injured officer was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, but his condition is not known at this stage.

This morning, the DUP's Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan said: "There is a growing concern amongst the rank and file prison officers that security in Maghaberry is breaking down and that senior management in the NI Prison Service are failing to grasp the serious situation that has developed.

"Prison officers are on the front line and their role in implementing an effective and secure regime within the prison is being undermined by management, not least by the most recent agreement to relax restrictions on separated prisoners, putting at risk both prisoners and prison officers," he said, tackling the Stormont Justice Minister.

"David Ford must take personal responsibility for the situation in Maghaberry and take firm action to address the problems that evidently exist."

Last night, the Prison Officers' Association said it showed how dangerous the job is: "This is part and parcel of a prison officer's job.

"This is a possibility that he faces every day in his working environment," the association's Finlay Spratt told BBC NI.

"It's not really appreciated the work prison officers do and the type of volatile people that we have to work with."

See: Maghaberry Prison Talks In Disarray


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