Staff strike from Bedford Prison following inmate riot and damning report

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Bedford Prison staff are holding a strike today - on the back of a recent riot and a damning report.

Pictured this afternoon, dozens of staff could be seen in a silent protest outside the prison walls.

This comes just weeks after hundreds of inmates were involved in a riot at the category B prison and an annual report published by the independent monitoring board said the facility needed an upgrade.

Chronic staff shortages, along with overcrowded conditions, have created a highly volatile environment at Bedford Prison said the report.

Prisoners complain of a lack of a predictable prison regime, too much time locked in their cells with nothing constructive to do, inexperienced officers and shortages of basic items like clothing, towels, bedding and toiletries.

Also according to the report, most wings are frequently unacceptably dirty, relations between staff and prisoners have declined as conditions have deteriorated and assaults on prisoners and staff have increased, along with prisoners cutting themselves and attempting to hang themselves.

Three prisoners sadly died during the reporting year, which runs from July 2015 to June 2016, one of which was through natural causes.