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Prison officers say 3m investment in security ‘no replacement for staff’

The Prison Officers Association has told Sky News equipment is “no replacement for staff,” as the Government unveils a 3m investment in new technology to protect prison guards. The investment comes amid an increase in violence against prison officers and disturbances inside jails. Two million pounds will be spent on 5,600 body-worn cameras which will be made available to prison guards in England and Wales, following the successful roll-out of the cameras among 22,000 Metropolitan Police officers last October. Plans announced by the Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah also include 1m for new police-style handcuffs and restraints, which will reduce the need for staff to use physical holds to control aggressive prisoners. Four prisons – HMP Wealstun, HMP Risley, HMP Preston and HMP Hull – will also trial PAVA incapacitant spray, similar to pepper spray, to boost officer safety.

Image: Two prison officers were seriously injured last year at Wormwood Scrubs in west London

Mr Gyimah said: “Prison officers do an incredibly hard job . Assaults on prison officers are up 34% in the last year . Of course prison officers have got to be professional at all times but where these cameras could make a real difference is with prosecutions and also deterring assaults against prison officers.

“I am absolutely determined to tackle head-on the issues that undermine the safety and security of our prisons and to ensure our dedicated officers have the tools they need to do the job.” The Prison Officers Association welcomed the introduction of the new safety measures, but told Sky News the central issue remains the number of guards. In a statement, the union said: “Whilst we welcome protective measures such as PAVA spray and body worn cameras nothing can replace correct and safe staffing levels.

“The 30% cut to staff since 2010 and the increase in violence and riots during that period still has to be addressed and equipment is no replacement for staff.” The Government says 1,290 extra prison officers have been recruited, but admits that number is below its own target of 2,500. Former convict John Hirst told Sky News there needs to be a more widespread reform of the prison system.

He said: “What they need to do is improve conditions . Some of the prisons are still Victorian and they still use Victorian prison rules. “If you keep dehumanising prisoners when you put them into the system in the first place, how do you think they are going to behave?”

The Government says 10m has already been given to priority prisons to ramp up additional security measures including 24-hour patrol dogs, CCTV cameras, mobile phone detection technology and metal detectors.

Security guard Jesus Campos breaks silence after Las Vegas …

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IBM’s revenue beats estimates on cloud, security services

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp s (IBM.N1) shift to newer businesses such as cloud and security services helped it beat Wall Street s quarterly revenue estimates, and the company said its latest mainframe is getting enthusiastic adoption .

The company s shares rose nearly 5 percent to $152.80 (115.92 pounds)in extended trading on Tuesday.

Revenue in the company s mainframe business jumped 60 percent in the third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter told Reuters, adding that the business benefited from the newly launched Z14.

The company began shipping the new systems toward the end of September.

System Z uptake topped our expectations, and likely helped support gross profit, said Josh Olson, an analyst with Edward Jones.

Under Chief Executive Ginni Rometty, IBM has in recent years shifted focus to growth areas across its businesses, such as cloud, cybersecurity and data analytics, to counter a slowdown in its legacy hardware and software businesses.

Revenue from these businesses, which IBM calls its strategic imperatives , climbed 11 percent to $8.8 billion in the third quarter ended Sept .

30.

Total revenue fell 0.4 percent to $19.15 billion from a year earlier, marking the smallest quarterly drop since the third quarter of 2016.

IBM s revenue declined for the 22nd quarter in a row as the company continues to exit some legacy businesses, while bolstering its strategic imperatives .

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $18.60 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company s net income fell to $2.73 billion, or $2.92 per share, in the third quarter, from $2.85 billion, or $2.98 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, IBM earned $3.30 per share, beating analysts estimates of $3.28.

Reporting by Pushkala A and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

References

  1. ^ IBM.N (uk.reuters.com)