MSP raises concerns over prison siege

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An MSP has suggested that the latest disturbance at HMP Grampian is more than “just teething problems”.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats’ justice spokesperson Alison McInnes highlighted last week’s incident at the Peterhead jail during First Minister’s Questions.

Around 40 prisoners reportedly barricaded themselves inside a wing of the newly-opened facility, causing widespread damage before the 14-hour standoff was ended without injury.

Mrs McInnes asked Alex Salmond what steps the Scottish Government would take “to ensure good order is maintained in the future”.

The First Minister replied that “it is not unknown for new prisons to have this sort of incident – it has happened a number of times in the past”. He also criticised those behind the “unacceptable behaviour”.

Mrs McInnes said later: “That this is the third serious incident in two months at the new prison in Peterhead suggests these are more than just teething problems.

“While this new facility is a great improvement upon the old North-east, HMP & YOI Grampian nonetheless faces significant challenges.

“The Scottish Prison Service must ensure that this new facility has the resources, experience and know-how to deal with difficult situations before they escalate into serious incidents such as this.”