UPDATE: Investigation launched after six hour riot in Bedford Prison

Grinning inmates put on stolen medical gear and posed for the camera as they rioted at a prison.

Monday, 7th November 2016, 8:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:24 pm
Bedford Prison

Over 200 prisoners rampaged inside HMP Bedford yesterday (Sunday) and footage emerged of them shouting and smashing windows.

New video showed seven men at the Category B men’s prison smiling with their fingers up while wearing blue medical gloves.

One other appeared to be wearing a protective medical head covering and bib.

Chanting can be heard in the background of the 13 second video while the men stand and laugh before the camera pans to show two other men joining the group.

A green curtain can be seen in the background as the prisoners - suggesting the inmates were filmed in the health care wing of the prison.

It has been reported that prisoners carried blades, ransacked guards’ offices and set small fires during the six-hour riot.

There were also reports of loud bangs ‘like gunfire’ from inside the grounds of the Victorian jail.

Emergency services were called at around 5pm, with ambulance and fire services on standby outside.

The incident is understood to have been “successfully resolved” at around 11.30pm on Sunday night.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust confirmed one patient had a suspected broken jaw and a second patient had chest pain.

Both were taken to hospital for further treatment while a third patient with back pain was treated at the scene.

HMP Bedford, which has been on its current site since 1801, currently holds around 500 inmates.

The Prison Service said: “Specially trained prison officers and staff from the emergency services have successfully resolved an incident involving a number of prisoners at HMP Bedford.

“An investigation into this incident will take place. We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and could spend significantly longer behind bars.”

The riot came after the head of the Prison Officers Association (POA) Mike Rolfe last week warned British jails have been engulfed by a “bloodbath”.

Steve Gillan, POA general secretary, said: “The POA has been warning about this situation of violence in our prisons - it would appear it’s coming to fruition.

“I just hope there’s no prisoners or indeed prison officers are injured in the violence.”

A survey found the number of prisoners saying it was easy or very easy to get drugs had almost doubled since the last inspection of the jail in February 2014.

The number saying they had developed a drug problem while at the prison increased from four per cent to 14 per cent.

An HMP inspection in May also found that the physical condition of the prison was poor, with many inmates living in cramped conditions.

The report detailed damaged furniture, graffiti, shortages of clothing and dirty, unscreened showers.

The report also said: “Arrangements for managing violent and bullying behaviour and supporting victims were weak.”