A ‘serious incident’ is ongoing at Ranby prison in Retford with reports of a suspected ‘fire’ and prisoners ‘taking control’ of a cell block.
The Prison Officers’ Association confirmed the ‘serious incident’ at around 12.30pm today.
It is understood that around 60-70 prisoners are currently rioting.
There have been reports of a fire at the prison, although this has been denied by the Ministry of Justice.
At around 6.40pm there were reports that prisoners had taken control of a unit at the jail.
According to a spokesperson for the prison, minor damage has been sustained but there are no reports of anyone being injured as of yet.
Glyn Travis, assistant secretary of the POA, said: “There is a serious incident at HMP Ranby.”
“At around 12.30pm, 120 prisoners refused to return to their cells. They have taken control of a unit.”
“We have got national resources at the prison trying to establish a surrender plan. We know 60 prisoners have been actively involved.”
At around 7.30pm there were reports of firefighters and prison officers carrying shields entering the prisoners being transported away from the prison in escort vans.
This week, MP for Bassetlaw John Mann highlighted deteriorating conditions at the prison after four people committed suicide there in the past year.
He said: “These issues have been raised with the Prison Governor, the Ministry of Justice and the Prisons Minister in 2011 and 2012 and the warnings were ignored, including the specific warning that the management of Ranby was in chaotic meltdown.”
“Warnings were given but because there was no action taken, it means that these tragic deaths have been disasters waiting to happen.”
The Bassetlaw MP’s comments come after the Chief Executive of The Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Cook, labelled HMP Ranby, a catergory C training prison, a ‘dangerous and dirty’ prison.
Frances Cook said: “This is a dangerous and dirty prison. It’s dangerous for prisoners and for staff, but that means it’s dangerous for the public too, as men spill out back into communities more likely to cause mayhem and harm.”
The disturbance comes after a prisoner at HMP Nottingham gouged out his eyes out earlier this week, reportedly over the heat in his cell.