Two more prison officers assaulted at work

Two more prison officers at Hakea Prison have been assaulted at work over the past few days bringing the total to five attacks this week, after three prison officers were assaulted at Greenough Regional Prison over the weekend.

One officer was rushed at and bowled over by a prisoner causing suspected broken bones and serious muscle damage to the officer while the other officer was punched in the head by a prisoner with a mental illness.

Both officers needed medical attention after the attacks.

WA Prison Officers’ Union Secretary John Welch said the latest two assaults at Hakea and three in the past few days at Greenough brought the statewide number of officers attacked in the last year to almost eighty.

Mr Welch said the latest attacks added pressure on the Barnett Government to sit down with the union to discuss the ongoing concerns of prison officers.

“With 13 of 15 WA prisons currently overcrowded it was no wonder that there is more tension within our prisons,” said Mr Welch.

“Prison Officers are facing greater risks helping keep the community safe yet the Barnett Government is still refusing to negotiate with the workers and recognise the dangerous work that Prison Officers do.

“When will the Premier and the Minister responsible tell the Department of Corrective Services to start talking with the WA Prison Officers’ Union?

WAPOU recently launched the “Respect the Risk “ campaign to get a fairer deal for Prison Officers from the Barnett Government.

“Prison officers are calling for proper staffing levels, new prison facilities to deal with the chronic overcrowding and better pay and conditions.

The officers attacked at Greenough prison earlier in the week were hurt while intervening to stop a fight between notorious wheelie-bin killer Valerie Parashumti and another prisoner.

“It’s time the Barnett Government matched their tough law and order rhetoric with action to deal with the crisis in the State’s prison system,” said Mr Welch.

Download the full media release.