Claim Body-Cameras Could Protect Prison Staff

19 January 2019, 08:00 | Updated: 19 January 2019, 08:02

Prison guard

Prison officers in Scotland are exposed to "unnecessary risk" because the Scottish Government does not routinely provide body-worn cameras, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The party said the cameras, which are provided to every prison officer across the rest of the UK, can act as a deterrent and also capture vital evidence.

Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: "The SNP's failure to provide body-worn cameras for prison officers in Scotland, when they are provided to all other officers in the rest of the United Kingdom, is deeply irresponsible.

"Our prison officers work in extremely risky environments and are often called upon to resolve disputes, many of which can, and do, turn violent.

"The cameras are recognised to be a hindrance to that violence, and so by their very nature, provide prison officers with extra protection.

"Scottish prison officers should not be less safe than their counterparts elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

"The SNP must reconsider this approach and give Scottish prison officers the equipment they need to perform their jobs in safety."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We value the work done by the staff of the Scottish Prison Service and we never take for granted the good order that is maintained in Scotland's prisons, in contrast to elsewhere in the UK.

"We have received no funding request for body cameras from the Scottish Prison Service."