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Fires blaze as inmates run riot at English jail

By Dominic Harris

Prison guards were last night trying to bring a disturbance involving 60 inmates at HMP Swaleside under control.

Prisoners took control of a landing on a wing at the category B training prison on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

Prison Officers Association (POA) chairman Mike Rolfe said the extent of the disturbance was unclear but fires had been lit.

Specially trained guards known as 'Tornado' squads were deployed to Swaleside, the Prison Service said.

It added that the incident was contained to a landing on a single wing and the rest of the prison was secure, with inmates safely locked away.

It is the fourth major disturbance at an English prison in less than two months, coming a week after hundreds of inmates rioted at Birmingham prison.

HMP Swaleside has a capacity of around 1,100 inmates, serving prison terms of more than four years. It was condemned by inspectors in July, which described it in a report as "dangerous", with levels of violence that were "far too high".

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