The West

Six prison officers have been allegedly assaulted by inmates in three separate attacks at three WA jails over the Christmas period.

A violent inmate at Casuarina Prison, who has allegedly been involved in several attacks this month, assaulted two prison officers who were moving him between cells on Christmas Eve.

While the injuries sustained by the officers were not serious, the assaults brought the number of officers attacked by the prisoner to eight since the beginning of the month, the Prison Officers’ Union said.

In another incident on Christmas Eve, a prisoner allegedly assaulted two officers at Roebourne Regional Prison.

One officer sprained his shoulder and the other damaged his knees, the union said.

They also came into contact with blood from the offender and now face an anxious three-month wait to see if they have contracted a blood borne virus.

In a third incident, an officer at Acacia Prison lost consciousness on Boxing Day after receiving several blows to the head from a prisoner and was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Another officer was also assaulted in the scuffle.

Union secretary John Welch said prison officers were continuing to suffer at the hands of the state’s most violent criminals.

“While most people have been home enjoying the festive season with their families, these officers have been assaulted while helping protect the community,” he said.

Mr Welch said it was time for the Government to recognise the risks prison officers faced and paid them appropriately.

Prison officers have long been calling for better pay and conditions, higher staff levels and new prison facilities to deal with overcrowding.

The State Government made a pay offer earlier this month, which the union rejected, describing it as “underwhelming”.

But the Government said the offer was in line with the consumer price index.

Comment is being sought from the Department of Corrective Services.

The West Australian

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