Trouble at Maidstone prison

About 40 prisoners were involved in a disturbance that lasted three hours at Maidstone prison in Kent on Saturday.

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History of unrest at south's prisons

The riot at Ford Open Prison in 2011 Credit: ITV Meridian

A prison riot in Kent's Maidstone Prison involving up to 180 inmates from one wing is not the first large-scale uprising in a correctional facility in the south. The incident, which is believed to be resolved, follows a riot at Ford Open Prison, West Sussex, on New Year's Day in 2011.

It erupted after prisoners were ordered to undergo breathalyser tests for contraband alcohol. About 40 inmates smashed windows and set fire to eight blocks at the prison. Criminologist Professor David Wilson said prison guards would enact OperationTornado to bring the latest riot under control.

Prison riot 'resolved' at Maidstone

Prison vans outside Maidstone Prison Credit: Iain McBride/ITV Meridian

There are unconfirmed reports that the riot at Maidstone Prison has been resolved. Up to 180 prisoners were involved in the riot at Thanet Wing. Meridian reporter Iain McBride said he could hear shouting from inside the prison a short time ago.

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Prison officers have necessary riot training

Prison Officers Association vice chair Ralph Valerio has said he has heard from officers at Maidstone Prison that up to 180 prisoners are involved. Mr Valerio said officers on site had the training and skills necessary to bring the mass riot under control.

Mr Valerio said he hoped negotiators would be able to subdue the situation. 'But this could be replicated across the estate very quickly,' he told Sky News. A decision would have to be made whether prison guards go into the wing to try to subdue it, he said.

Up to 180 prisoners involved in Maidstone riot

The main gate of Maidstone Prison Credit: Press Association Images

Unconfirmed reports suggest between 160 and 180 prisoners are involved in an ongoing riot at Maidstone Prison in Kent - nearly a third of the 600 prison population. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed national resources have been deployed to deal with the incident which is confined to one wing.

Reports of riot at Maidstone Prison

An incident is taking place involving a number of inmates at Maidstone Prison following reports of a riot, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed. National resources have been deployed to deal with the incident at the Kent jail which is confined to one wing.

Maidstone, with an inmate population of about 600, is a category C training prison that predominantly houses sex offenders from the Kent and Sussex areas. The prison also takes in a small number of foreign prisoners with more than 18 months to serve and provides forums with the UK Border Agency.

Kent Police confirmed they were aware of the incident, but a spokeswoman said prison services were dealing with the matter.

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Latest ITV News reports

  • Riot involved overseas prisoners

    A disturbance involving about 40 inmates from the same wing at Maidstone Prison has been resolved, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.