Prison officers are injured

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Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots has said that Maghaberry Prison is “understaffed” after four prison officers were injured during an incident with a prisoner.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to give any details of what happened but confirmed one of the officers received medical treatment for her injuries.

The Department also said that an investigation would be carried into the incident, which took place on Sunday (January 31).

However, local MLA Edwin Poots has claimed one of the officers was scalded when a kettle of hot water fell during a struggle with an inmate.

Writing on Twitter on Sunday (January 31) Mr Poots said: “A prison officer scalded with hot water and five colleagues injured. How long is the SMT [senior management team] and Minister going to drag their feet.”

Mr Poots has said that under-staffing in the high-security prison was creating dangers for both staff and inmates.

In a statement on the latest incident on Sunday afternoon, the Department of Justice said: “In line with Prison Service policy, a full investigation will now be carried out.”

A prison inspection report last year said Maghaberry prison was “unsafe and unstable” for prisoners and staff.

Figures released by the Department of Justice have also shown that prisoners were attacked by other inmates more than 800 times in Northern Ireland jails over the last three years.