SPS dismisses ‘riot’ claim at Peterhead

Governor of HMP and YOI Grampian, Jim Farish
Governor of HMP and YOI Grampian, Jim Farish

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has dismissed reports of stand-offs at HMP and YOI Grampian in Peterhead.

A SPS spokesperson admitted there have been a few minor incidents since the prison opened at the beginning of March but each one has ended peacefully.

They said: “One recent incident had been described as a riot and that simply is not true as there were only two people involved.

“There were also reports that staff were wearing riot gear, that too is not the case as our staff wore personal protective equipment and in that incident they didn’t need to use it and no-one was injured.

“In that kind of environment, if a prisoner threatens to use violence our staff have to take precautions for their own safety.

“Incidents like this are to be expected in a new prison, since HMP Grampian opened there have been a number of incidents but none have been serious and we do not accept anyone misbehaving or threatening to use violence.

They added: “This is a new establishment, there will be teething problems but we are confident that Governor Jim Farish and his staff can get any problems under control and make HMP Grampian a prison to be proud of.”

HMP and YOI Grampian was created to replace the old Peterhead Prison and Aberdeen’s Craiginches.

When full, the establishment can accommodate 552 inmates who are under the watchful eye of 310 uniformed officers and 50 members of SPS staff.