Three prison officers at Hakea Prison were assaulted yesterday in the latest confrontation at a WA prison.

The union said one officer has suspected broken ribs while another two suffered cuts and bruises. A fourth officer received a face full of mace in the melee.

The incident had occurred after two prisoners were discovered in a unit where they were not supposed to be and as a consequence when prison officers intervened to remove the intruders the prisoners had assaulted the responding officers.

The union said one officer has suspected broken ribs while another two suffered cuts and bruises. A fourth officer received a face full of mace in the melee.

The union said the incident caused half the prison to close down for a number of hours and brings the number of prison officers attacked at work to nearly 100 this year.

WA Prison Officers’ Union Secretary John Welch said that Perth’s current heatwave was adding further pressure in the system with the conditions in prisons similar to being in a pressure cooker. “We just hope that boiling point is not reached.”

Mr Welch said the union had been saying for months that being a prison officer is a dangerous job and that prison officers deserved better pay and conditions for the risks they took.

In October, the WA Prison Officers’ Union relaunched the “Respect the Risk “ campaign to get a fairer deal for Prison Officers from the Barnett Government.

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

The West Australian

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