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MP marches to reduce prison officer retirement age

14th June 2019
MP marches to reduce prison officer retirement age

Local MP Gordon Henderson recently joined members of the Prison Officers Association (POA) on a protest march in London as part of their campaign for a lower pension age (60, which would bring it in line with the police and fire service), against the introduction of any more private prisons, and to highlight the level of violence in prisons.

Mr Henderson explained why he was supporting the POA:

“I was proud to be able to join local prison officers, and their national colleagues, on their protest march past Parliament and show my support for their campaign.

“I believe it is unfair that prison officers are facing the prospect of having to work until they are 68, whilst their colleagues in the police and fire service are able to retire at 60.

“I have visited our local prisons on a number of occasions and can testify that the work of prison officers is both physically and mentally demanding. Such demands place a huge strain on a young person, let alone somebody who is approaching 70 years of age.

“I recently applied for a Parliamentary debate on the subject of the retirement age for prison officers but was not successful in the draw that took place. However, I have applied again and will continue to do so until I am successful.

“I have long opposed the use of private prisons and will continue to do so. I believe there is a place for the private sector in delivering some of the services in prisons, such as catering and education, however, when it come to the supervision of inmates, then I do not believe the State should subcontract that to a private company that is able to make a profit out of the incarceration of prisoners.

“With regards to the rising level of violence in prisons; that is something with which I have been concerned for some time also and have been campaigning, with the POA, for prison officers to be given more protection from attacks, including, where necessary, the use of pepper sprays.

“I will continue to back the POA until we get the justice that prison officers deserve.”

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