Statistics showing a big fall in the number of disciplinary charges faced by WA prison officers have thrown into question the State Gov-ernment's new custodial laws.
The Department of Corrective Services figures revealed disciplinary charges that officers were found guilty of had fallen from 50 in the 2010-11 financial year to 14 in 2012-2013.
A total of 52 disciplinary charges were laid in 2010-2011, 50 of which the accused officer was found guilty, 58 charges were laid in 2011-12, 43 of which resulted in a guilty verdict, and 24 in 2012-13, 14 of which the officer was found guilty.
The laws, which include removing an officer's right to silence and being able to sack them if the department chief loses confidence in them, have upset the WA Prison Officers Union, which claims that prisoners will have more rights than their guards.
Shadow corrective services minister Paul Papalia says the figures prove Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis is creating a "false crisis" and has no reason to "declare war" on his department.
But Mr Francis said the number of charges did not matter because it was still unacceptable that a small number of officers were not meeting the standards expected by the Government and the public.
Mr Francis said the changes were needed because it took too long to remove prison officers who did not meet that standard.
He said some prison officers had already been charged with significant offences this financial year.
Union secretary John Welch said the figures showed there was no evidence there was a major cultural problem within WA prisons.