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Officers hurt in prison disturbance

Two prison officers have been injured in a disturbance at a young offenders unit.

The incident at Littlehey Prison, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, saw a female officer assaulted and a male officer being scalded with hot water, the Prison Officers Association (POA) said.

The incident at about 5pm on Monday came after the POA warned of more riots and an increase in violence in British prisons.

Just after 9pm there were raised voices and shouting coming from inside the prison. Dozens of prison officers, wearing riot gear and holding shields, arrived in vans and marched into the prison.

A Prison Service spokesman said the officers injured at Littlehey were treated at a healthcare unit of the prison, and did not require hospital treatment.

He said claims by the POA that the female officer had been knocked unconscious and that as many as 60 prisoners were refusing to return to their cells were incorrect.

The young offenders wing, where the incident took place, holds around 60 prisoners, aged 18 to 21, he added.

The POA said there had been problems at the prison, including brawls and assaults, for the past 12 months.

Ralph Valerio, of the POA national executive, believes a jug of hot water containing sugar was thrown at the male prison officer. He said: "It contained sticky sugar so it would stick to his skin. It has seriously burnt his face, but it hasn't stuck on his face."

An internal investigation will be conducted into the incident. "Following incidents such as this, there is always an internal investigation, which is run by the prison afterwards," the Prison Service spokesman said.

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