Attempted Beheading and Concerns Over Staffing at Wayland Prison

HM Prison Wayland is a category C men’s prison in Norfolk. Operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service, it has a capacity of 1,017, with 12 residential units and one segregation unit. Workshops, training facilities and an educational department are available to inmates. Recent news has covered an attempted beheading, concerns over violence and staffing, and the conviction of a member of staff for attempted smuggling.

Prison Officers Awarded After Attempted Beheading

A pair of Wayland Prison officers received awards for bravery in December 2018, after they diffused an altercation in which an inmate tried to behead another inmate. Derek Walker was presented with the Royal Humane Society Bronze medal, and Ross Sanford received a Testimonial on Vellum. In July 2017, an inmate shouting Islamic oaths attacked David Sutton with blades attached to a handle as he stood in the lunch queue. The two prison officers confronted the attacker and subdued him after a struggle in which Officer Walker lost consciousness after receiving a knife slash to the back of his head.

Concerns Over Staffing and Violence at Wayland Prison

A report by Wayland Prison’s independent monitoring board raised concerns about staffing and violence. The report revealed that almost of half of the prison’s workforce were in their first year of service, and 20 of 72 officers recruited left within a year. The report said these staffing issues “has an impact on safety and discipline on the wings, with less time for communication with offenders known to the officers”.

The report also raised concerns over violence, highlighting 214 assaults on inmates by other inmates, and 84 assaults on staff by inmates in a year. It also said the smuggling of drugs and mobiles into the prison was a problem. The board’s chairwoman Trish Phillips said: “As a board which monitors fairness and respect for those in custody, the members are alarmed by the large number of drugs that get into HMP Wayland.”

Prison Worker Tried to Smuggle Drugs in a Cheese Roll

A civilian member of staff was caught attempting to smuggle drugs hidden in a cheese roll into Wayland Prison, it was reported in July 2018. Duane Parker was arrested when tablets of the class C drug Subutex were found in his lunchbox following undercover surveillance. He admitted the offence, as well as possession of cannabis and Spice, and misconduct in a public office. Jailing him for 14 months, the judge said smuggling contraband into prison led to “bullying and intimidation” among inmates, and the danger of attacks on staff by inmates under the influence of drugs.

Park Run for Inmates Launched

Wayland Prison launched a Park Run in April 2018, giving inmates the chance to complete a 5km run around the prison’s sports field. David Nicolson, head of reducing offending, said: “This is a fantastic activity that everyone, regardless of their ability, can take part in to improve their health, wellbeing and self-esteem.”

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