Long Lartin prison: Prison staff 'attacked with pool balls' after 'disturbance' breaks out

Caroline Mortimer
At least 80 inmates are thought to be involved in the disturbance: Getty Images

Prison staff have reportedly been "attacked with pool balls" during a "disturbance" at a high-security prison in Worcestershire.

Staff at HMP Long Lartin have reportedly retreated from one of the wings of the prison after up to 80 people became violent, the BBC reported.

Specialised "tornado teams" of riot-trained prison officers had been sent in to quell the uprising.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice told The Independent: "We are currently managing an ongoing incident at HMP Long Lartin.

"We are absolutely clear that offenders who behave in this way will be punished and face spending extra time behind bars".

The Category A men's prison currently has a capacity of 622 inmates, which includes people being held on remand.

Category A means the prison hosts the most dangerous types of criminal such as those convicted of murder, rape or terrorism offences.

The prison is famous for being the home to Abu Qatada, a notorious Islamist preacher, who detained there during part of his lengthy legal battle with the Home Office over his extradition to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

The disturbance is just the latest incident in a series hitting prisons around the UK.

In July, a prison riot at HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire saw inmates take over two wings of the complex.

The Category C facility, which houses the least dangerous class of prisoners, had reportedly been running on a "restricted regime" due to a chronic staff shortage and prisoners were reportedly confined to their cells for up to 24 hours a day.

Severe budget cuts have left prisons facing a serious shortage of trained prison officers.