GARY Glitter’s sex offender prison has been plagued by a “severe” Covid outbreak – placing the city fifth with the worst infection rates in England.
HMP The Verne in Portland reported 927 cases per 100,000 people last week.
🦠 Read our live coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates…
Underhill and The Grove, a communal area on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, has an infection rate 10 times that of Dorset as a whole.
According to data from the Department of Health which divides the country into 7,000 areas based on postcodes, only four other regions in England have been affected by larger epidemics.
The BBC reported that 120 inmates at the Category C prison have tested positive for the virus, and it is not yet known whether Glitter is included in the number.
The epidemic has led to staff shortages and created “difficult” working conditions, with some workers working double shifts.
The prison avoided the virus in the first wave of the pandemic, but the current outbreak, which is classified as “severe”, has raised concerns for the health and safety of older inmates.
IMB President Chris Miller said: “Staff at community care homes have been a priority group for immunization while prison officers, who in many cases do the exact same job, have not been a priority group for immunization. have not received any vaccines.
“This is something that we have discussed with the government.”
Inmates still receive three meals a day, despite pressure from staff.
The Justice Department said: “Our priority is to limit the spread of the virus and protect the lives of those who live and work in our prisons.
“We have taken precautionary measures in Verne, in accordance with public health guidelines.”
Glitter made headlines earlier this month when he received the saving blow over the staff caring for him and his victims.
He was one of the first latecomers to receive the vaccine – which enraged justice activists.
Sources said last night that prisoners were not given priority over the general public or were not skipping the line.
Sex offenders are likely to be among the first to receive the jab as they form a large portion of the older prison population.
A source said: “Many have been jailed in recent years for horrific crimes dating back decades. You have prisons where there is a large group of older sex offenders, all between the ages of 70 and 80.
“Because of their age, they will get the vaccine first.
“But if you’re a prison guard looking after Glitter and you haven’t been given the jab, you won’t be happy.”
Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, is serving a 16-year sentence for attempted rape, indecent assault and sex with a child under 13.
David Spencer, director of the Center for Crime Prevention, blasted: “There are still a lot of key workers and vulnerable people getting their jabs.
“It is wrong to distinguish criminals before them. This decision needs to be reconsidered urgently.”