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The union representing prison guards is up in arms over an assault on an officer at Wooroloo Prison Farm this morning.

WA Prison Officers’ Union secretary John Welch said the officer was managing visits and told a prisoner to move when the prisoner started to punch him.

Mr Welch said the officer was 49 years old and had been a prison guard for about eight years.
He said two other prison guards were injured when they came to the officer’s aid.

“The officer has sustained bruises, grazing to the eye, damage to their shoulder. We’re not sure how serious that is yet, whether they’re going to need hospital treatment or not,” he said.

The union claims the incident follows 13 assaults on prison guards over the holiday season and nearly 100 in the last year.

Mr Welch said chronic overcrowding was at the centre of the issue and it was particularly difficult to manage prisoners in overcrowded prisons in the heat of summer.

He said prisons were short-staffed and he believed prison officers needed to be paid more in recognition of the risks they faced.