Prisoners moved to other jails during HMP Oakwood riot

A wing at Oakwood prison was ‘taken over by inmates', who damaged cells and threatened staff.

One prisoner, who contacted the Express & Star as the trouble flared, said up to 40 inmates had used pool tables to barricade D wing and demanded McDonald’s meals.

He also alleged that two members of staff had been taken hostage during the trouble at the £150 million prison, which lasted for nine hours overnight.

But this evening, G4S and Minisry of Justice said no staff had been taken hostage and 15 to 20 prisoners had been involved.

Extra resources were brought in to contain the disorder, including ‘tornado’ squads of prison officers in riot gear, according to reports.

One inmate suffered minor injuries during the disorder but no staff members were injured.

In an early morning phone call today, the prisoner, who asked not to be named, said: “There are 40 people who have barricaded themselves in with pool tables. They’re making silly demands, they’re just drunk.

“They’ve taken two prison staff hostage and there are loads of police here trying to get it under control, but they haven’t.”

Monday evening's statement from the authorities said: "The disruption, which was confined to one wing of the Category C prison for male prisoners, began just after 5pm on Sunday as prisoners were out of their cells on association, and involved around 15-20 prisoners, who threatened officers and caused damage to cells and prison property. A number of prisoners returned to their cells voluntarily.

“The Ministry of Justice were informed immediately, and standard procedures were initiated to deal with the incident, with rapid response teams deployed. Staffordshire Police were also informed.

“Owing to damage caused to cells, a number of prisoners were moved to other wings and to other prisons in the area.

“The incident was brought under control just after 2am without injury to any prison officers, although one prisoner has been treated for minor injuries."

It is the latest in a long line of embarrassing incidents for Oakwood prison, after two rooftop protests took place last year.

The Category C prison near Featherstone opened in April 2012. A series of reports have heavily criticised management and staff.

Last October three prisoners got onto the roof in a protest which lasted more than five hours. A month later six prisoners managed to get on the roof in a seven-hour protest.

The latest trouble has prompted fresh calls for inmates involved in disorder to be refused parole. Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, said: “My primary concern is for those people who work in the prison and my constituents who live near to it. It is a dreadful situation.”

The Ministry of Justice said the incident was dealt with by prison staff but officials had been kept informed.