Hundreds of inmates are being moved out of HMP Birmingham after huge riots rocked the jail. In total, 240 jailbirds will be transferred after a riot which involved 600 prisoners and lasted for 12 hours.
The Ministry of Justice says the prisoners will be driven to other jails across Britain. After a specialist team called Tornado, which includes former SAS officers, stormed the jail last night, order has now been restored. The prison is run by G4S and the Prison Service said it would be working closely with the private firm to make sure that the jail continues to remain peaceful.
Officials are examining what damage has been caused and the repairs which will be necessary. Two wings have suffered serious damage and another two wings are understood to have suffered superficial damage.
Three hundred riot officers were drafted in to restore peace and win back control of the jail. All public order trained officers were called to duty by West Midlands Police. When they stormed in, prisoners sprayed Tornado teams with paint. They were seen coming back out, following a successful operation, covered in white paint. Prisoners also used fire hoses as weapons.
More than 100 prison vans were then seen waiting outside the jail, ready to take hundreds of prisoners to new jails.
Because West Midlands officers had to deal with the serious disturbance, forces in Essex and Lancashire had to fill the breach on the night dubbed Black Eye Friday, because of the number of fights which break out as thousands of people enjoy work Christmas parties.
The Justice Secretary Liz Truss has promised that the riot and the circumstances which led up to it will be thoroughly investigated. She also paid tribute to the “bravery and dedication” of the officers who went in to seize back control of the jail.
She described it as a “serious situation,” and said that violence within prisons would not be tolerated. Those who were involved in the disturbance can expect to have time added on to their prison sentences.
There were reports that at least two wings, as well as the pharmacy, the gym and exercise yard were in the control of prisoners.