PRISON officers working at HMP Grampian have been assaulted by inmates almost 100 times in the last five years, new figures show.
Statistics from the Scottish Prison Service show 16 assaults were carried out by prisoners on staff in 2023 – a rise from the previous year when 15 occurred.
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During Covid in 2020 and 2021, there were 59 attacks on staff while in 2019, there were just nine.
The figures compare to Inverness where prison officers have been assaulted on 32 occasions since 2019 and the likes of Perth which saw 106 attacks on staff.
Meanwhile, more than 300 fights among prisoners have taken place at HMP Grampian over the last five years, with 41% of these occurring since 2022.
Scottish Conservative North East MSP Tess White said: “It’s completely unacceptable that such a high number of assaults, especially against prison staff, have taken place at HMP Grampian over the past five years.
“Prison officers should be able to carry out their duties without the fear of being attacked by inmates at the prison.
“The SNP’s savage cuts to the justice budget have placed prisons like HMP Grampian under even more strain, with staff overstretched and clearly at risk.
“It’s clear that the Scottish Government isn’t doing enough to help the prison service tackle violence within prison walls which continues to be at alarmingly high levels.
“SNP ministers must urgently get a grip and give prison staff the support and resources they need.”