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Thursday, February 5, 1998 Published at 18:34 GMT


Prison riot video turns up at car boot sale
image: [
"Lancashire Constabulary" is clearly marked on the tape label

Police in Lancashire have launched an inquiry into how a surveillance video, showing scenes from a prison riot, came to be sold at a car boot sale.

The 20-minute video, clearly labelled the property of Lancashire Constabulary, was bought by a member of the public who thought the tape was blank.

In fact, it contains a mixture of shots from the ground and the air of disturbances at Wymott jail, near Leyland in Lancashire, in 1993.

[ image: Video shows police tactics in riot]
Video shows police tactics in riot
The video shows the tactics used by prison officers to contain the riot, as well as details of the layout of some buildings at the prison.

The riot at Wymott by some 400 inmates was the worst disturbance since the Strangeways riot in 1990, and resulted in an estimated 20 million damage.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said the video should not have fallen into the hands of the public.

"This is a serious breach of our internal procedure," the spokesperson said. "We don't know who owns the video because a number of videos of the riot were made for training and debriefing exercises. Most police videos are disposed of and it is a serious matter that this tape was not destroyed."

Bill Payne of the Prison Officers Association said it was regrettable that any form of information that could affect the security of a prison establishment should fall into the hands of someone outside.

The tape has been handed to the BBC, which has undertaken to show just selected shots.

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