Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World News in Audio


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map

Monday, December 29, 1997 Published at 18:55 GMT



UK

Security to be tightened at Maze
image: [ Security will be tightened at the Maze prison ]
Security will be tightened at the Maze prison

The Government is to introduce weekly random searches in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland following the murder inside the jail of loyalist paramilitary, Billy Wright.

Wright was shot dead on Saturday by gunmen from a dissident republican group. Two guns were found at the scene. The Government said it was determined to stop such incidents happening again.

The Government is also extending an existing inquiry into procedures at the prison, which was set up after the escape of IRA prisoner, Liam Averill, earlier in December.

In addition, the Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales, Sir David Ramsbotham, will undertake a full inspection of the Maze.


[ image: Northern Ireland Security Minister, Adam Ingram]
Northern Ireland Security Minister, Adam Ingram
The Northern Ireland Security Minister, Adam Ingram, who made the announcements on a visit to the jail, said Wright's murder had been very embarrassing for the Government, but there were no plans for resignations.


Northern Ireland Security Minister, Adam Ingram (17")
He said a new management team had been installed in recent weeks and he had complete confidence in it.


[ image: Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Northern Ireland Prison Officers' Association]
Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Northern Ireland Prison Officers' Association
However, Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Northern Ireland Prison Officers' Association, blamed the Northern Ireland prison management for the current situation.

He said the Senior Governor of the Maze, Martin Mogg, was not able to do his job properly because of his additional role as Director of Operations for Northern Ireland Prisons.


Finlay Spratt interviewed by the BBC's Claire Fox (2'35")
Mr Spratt said there should have been regular random weekly searches at the Maze, but there had not been a major search since July. He said cutbacks were to blame.

"We have lost 300 prison officers from the job over the past two years," he said. "They are now talking about reducing the staffing level in the Maze by 56. If they continue to do that we will not be able to carry out these searches and we do not have the resources to carry out those searches."

The announcements came as the Northern Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam, was briefed by senior police and prison officers on the prospects of the cease-fire holding, following Wright's murder and a revenge attack on Sunday in which a former Republican prisoner was murdered.
 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

Link to BBC Homepage

  Relevant Stories

28 Dec 97 | UK
The Maze - home to paramilitaries

29 Dec 97 | UK
Three remanded on Maze murder charge

29 Dec 97 | UK
Mowlam briefed after Ulster violence

28 Dec 97 | UK
LVF claims County Tyrone murder

28 Dec 97 | UK
Investigation launched into Maze murder

27 Dec 97 | UK
Paramilitaries vow to avenge killing

28 Dec 97 | UK
Appeals for calm after loyalist murder

27 Dec 97 | UK
'King Rat', Ulster's infamous paramilitary

 
  Internet Links

Northern Ireland Office

Forum for Peace and Reconciliation

Republic of Ireland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online





UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England