9 Nov 2023

Introduce PAVA spray or ‘there will be a murder and death in youth custody prisons’, says Prison Officers Association

Social Affairs Editor and Presenter

Prison officers are demanding the government immediately introduces so-called PAVA spray to be used on violent young offenders – warning that further delays will end in tragedy.

The chair of the Prison Officers Association has written to the Justice Secretary for the second time in six months to say the incapacitant – similar to pepper spray – must be introduced right now to prevent a death in the increasingly dangerous youth prison estate.

The Ministry of Justice says it’s still studying the evidence – but in the letter, seen exclusively by Channel 4 News, the POA warns spiralling violence in young offenders institutions means time is running out.