max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C


‘No substance’ to claim uniform policy threatens prison guard trainees

A group of potential prison officers in training  Picture: UNLOCKED GRADUATES

A group of potential prison officers in training Picture: UNLOCKED GRADUATES


University course leaders have rejected claims that student safety could be jeopardised by a policy to wear uniform on campus.

The head of a prison officer training scheme dismissed suggestions that master’s degree students had become “potential targets” by attending the University of Suffolk in uniform.

Mark Leech, editor of The Prisons Handbook, an annual reference guide to the penal system of England and Wales, said a requirement to wear uniform, when training on-the-job and in the classroom, endangered the personal safety of students on the two-year Unlocked Graduates course delivered at the university.

In a letter to prisons minister, Rory Stewart, Mr Leech praised the course as “a great initiative” but wrote: “Students are being forced to wear full prison officer uniforms on campus, contrary to Prison Service Orders, and which they wholly oppose for personal safety reasons.”

Mr Leech argued students were required to wear uniform “for no reason, other than it looks good”, claiming it made them “potential targets for any radicalised nutcase who believes his brother Muslims have been mistreated in prisons”.

But the programme’s founder and chief executive denounced Mr Leech’s claims as completely groundless.

“There is absolutely no substance to this complaint,” said Natasha Porter .

“Just like all prison officer trainees, our graduates wear their uniform throughout training to get used to it and all the equipment that comes with it.

“In public areas they are advised, but not required, to remove identifying features like epaulettes.

“This is all exactly in line with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service guidelines.”

In his letter to the minister, Mr Leech said one Unlocked Graduates student had written to him with their own concerns about wearing the uniform.

He quoted a student as saying they were uncomfortable wearing uniform in a “non-secure environment” and that course leaders had “refused to change their minds”.

Mr Leech said he was due to raise the issue with the minister at a meeting scheduled for next week, but added: “Urgency has overtaken events and I need to share with you now, personal safety information that is not being taken seriously.”

Two knife wielding robbers threatened staff at an Ipswich convenience shop before fleeing on foot with cash and cigarettes.

A driver who was stopped in Ipswich for allegedly using a mobile phone behind the wheel has been arrested after reportedly giving a positive drugs test.

Members of the public crowded round to help after a man’s foot was struck by a car in Ipswich town centre.

Don’t leave your New Year’s eve plans until last minute - see what events are happening around Suffolk with our guide.

A pub landlord who smashed a pint glass over a customer was put behind bars this week. Take a look at the others here.

Uninsured drivers in Ipswich town centre were the latest targets of a week-long crackdown led by Suffolk Constabulary.

A learner motorcyclist had their bike seized after police found they had allegedly been riding with no rear brake pads.

A busy road near Ipswich is to be closed in an emergency for the best part of a day so that a lamppost can be replaced.

A new design for Shotley Pier has been approved by the majority of stakeholders following a bout of tension over the future of the tourist attraction.

Motorists are being warned of severe delays following a crash and car fire on the A12.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24