“Riot squads” called to Doncaster jail

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“Riot squads” were called in to calm tensions at a Doncaster prison eight times last year, new figures have revealed.

The National Tactical Response Group (NTRG) were called out to deal with the incidents at Lindholme Prison.

The news comes as it was revealed the NTRG dealt with 223 prisoner disturbances in 2014 across the country - nearly double the number of incidents (118) it responded to in 2010, Ministry of Justice figures show.

Use of the NTRG has increased markedly under the coalition, with last year’s figures showing a near 10 per cent increase on 2013, when there were 203 call-outs, and 2012 when there were 129.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said: “This massive surge in the number of times the riot squad have been called out is proof that this Tory-led Government are leaving prisons in a worse state than they found them.

“Our jails are more violent than they were in 2010, suicides and self-harm are up and prisoners are spending more and more time idling in their cells instead of on training courses or working. This is not the rehabilitation revolution we were promised.”

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous said: “The NTRG is a specialist resource to assist both public and private sector establishments in safely managing and resolving serious incidents in prisons.

“While NTRG staff have the specialist skills required to deal with such incidents they are also frequently called to attend as a precautionary measure with the vast majority being dealt with very quickly.”