Call for name badges to be dropped after workers threatened at Liverpool jail

Construction union UCATT has called on the government to grant anonymity to building workers on prison contracts after inmates allegedly made threats against workers at Liverpool jail.

UCATT has asked the parliamentary undersecretary for criminal justice and offender management, Gerry Sutcliffe, to consider scrapping a law under which all non-uniformed staff, including all construction and maintenance workers, must wear full name badges in prisons.

This comes after a series of threats were made against construction workers at Liverpool prison.

It is understood that workers have been targeted after stumbling across illegal goods and information while working in cells. One incident occurred when an electrician repairing a light fitting uncovered a stash of drugs and mobile phones that had been hidden.

UCATT representatives will meet the prison service next week to discuss the issue. They will argue that the principle of anonymity that applies to uniformed prison staff, who wear numbers rather than names to safeguard them, should be extended to construction workers. Construction workers who fail to comply with the regulations because of threats are open to disciplinary procedures.

UCATT general secretary Alan Ritchie said: “We have evidence of our members being threatened as a result of their work in the prison. If prison officers are allowed to keep their anonymity for safety reasons it makes sense for the same principle to apply to construction workers.”

A prison service spokesperson said: “The prison service is aware there are concerns regarding name badges at one establishment and is in discussions with UCATT.”