Body cameras used by police in Northern Ireland. (Brian Lawless/PA)

Body-worn Cameras to Be Given to Prison Officers In Bid to Improve Jail Safety

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) revealed it is investing £2 million in 5,600 cameras, meaning every prison officer across England and Wales will have access to the devices.

A further £1 million is being invested in “police-style” handcuffs and restraints to reduce the need for staff to use physical holds to control aggressive prisoners.

Four prisons – HMP Wealstun, HMP Risley, HMP Preston and HMP Hull – will also trial the use of incapacitant spray, similar to pepper spray, for dealing with violent offenders.

Prisons minister Sam Gyimah said the increased security measures will ensure officers have the right tools for the job.

Prison officers to get body-worn cameras in bid to improve jail safety

The move comes after trials in 22 establishments and the large-scale deployment of body-worn cameras to more than 22,000 Metropolitan Police officers in October last year.

It also follows a recruitment drive launched by the Government in response to surging levels of violence and self-harm in prisons across the country.

The Government recently revealed it is more than halfway towards its target to bring in 2,500 additional prison officers by the end of next year.

Figures for October 2016 to August 2017 showed there was a net increase of 1,290 new prison officers, with a further 872 personnel expected to have started their training by January 2018, the MoJ said.

Hull Prison. (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

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