Authorities have managed to regain control of HMP Birmingham after 600 inmates caused the worst prison disturbance since 1990.
A 300-strong specialist riot team stormed the prison to tackle riots that lasted more than 12 hours, The Guardian reports.
Riot police enter HMP Birmingham to back up the tornado teams of specially trained prison officers. pic.twitter.com/tQUsLRGlvL
— Becky Johnson (@BeckyJohnsonSky) December 16, 2016
The prison, which is run by G4S, went into lockdown at 9am on Friday morning after an officer was ‘rushed’ by inmates.
Two wings of the facility, the pharmacy, gym and exercise yard then fell into the hands of criminals.
Fire then spread inside the prison as rioters managed to give a running commentary by allegedly using mobile phones smuggled into their cells.
During the incident the BBC received several calls, allegedly from inmates, citing frustration over prison conditions, which included inadequate staff numbers, poor healthcare and nutrition.
They also claimed being on ‘lockdown’ in their cells all day was a major factor.
Specialist Tornado units were deployed alongside prison units from across the country and managed to finally take back control of the worst prison disturbance since the Strangeways riot in 1990.
The Ministry of Justice said riot teams restored order to all four wings of HMP Birmingham just after 10.30pm on Friday.
Justice Secretary Liz Truss said violence in prisons ‘will not be tolerated’ and praised prison staff and emergency services for their help during the disorder.
I want to pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of the prison officers who resolved this disturbance. This was a serious situation and a thorough investigation will now be carried out. Violence in our prisons will not be tolerated.
The Government warned that rioters will have their sentences extended.
“We are absolutely clear that prisoners who behave in this way will be punished and could spend significantly longer behind bars,” a Ministry of Justice spokesman said.