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Prison commissioner ‘hopeful’ for agreement

Westgate Correctional Facility remains secured today

The Commissioner of Prisons Colonel Edward Lamb has said he is “hopeful” that an agreement to halt industrial action being taken by prison officers will be reached today.

The dispute over staff shortages and other concerns resulted in the facility being secured early yesterday as officers gathered outside.

Providing an update today, Colonel Lamb said the facility continues to be secured with inmates’ activities and programmes restricted.

He told The Royal Gazette: “We are still in negotiations to resolve some issues and facilities are on minimum regime. We are still working through those issues we hope to have a resolution soon.”

He said disruptions to prisoners was “minimal” and, asked whether he believed a resolution would be reached today, he replied: “I am hopeful”.

Meanwhile a Ministry of National Security spokesperson said: “In providing a brief update regarding the current Corrections Officers’ dispute at the Westgate Correctional Facility, the Ministry of National Security can confirm that discussions with the Prison Officers Association resumed this morning and continue.

“The Ministry notes that progress is being made and is hopeful that a resolution can be reached. As it currently stands, senior staff are managing the facilities, inmates have and will continue to be attended to and all units are secured.

“Additionally, the transporting of inmates to court is running as normal. The Ministry will update accordingly as information becomes available.”