THE number of protests at Winchester Prison has gone up over the past year, figures show.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) data shows that Winchester prisoners rebelled against officers 109 times in 2017-18, up from 88 the previous year.

That’s an increase of 24%, with experts warning that a high number of protesting prisoners could be a symptom of a “failing prison”.

In prisons across England and Wales there were a total of 6,719 protests in 2017-18, a 19% rise on the previous year.

According to HMPPS, there are four types of protesting behaviour: barricades, hostage incidents, concerted indiscipline and incidents at height.

Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust and a former governor of High Down Prison in Surrey, said grievances that cause protests are mostly “day-to-day things”.

He said that a lack of staff has a “knock-on effect” on the day-to-day running of the rest of the prison, which can cause prisoners to become frustrated and increases the likelihood of protest incidents.

Prisoners at Winchester also barricaded themselves in their cells, blocked doors and prevented staff from accessing areas in the prison a total of 13 times last year.

The number of incidents has been rising over the past five years – just seven were recorded in 2012-13.

Last year there were also eight recorded incidents of concerted indiscipline, defined as two or more prisoners defying instructions from officers or deliberately refusing to comply with requests.

There was one hostage situation – which involve prisoners holding one or more people against their will.

HMPPS said that they have recruited an extra 3,500 prison officers over the last two years and an additional £40 million was being invested to “tackle the drugs and mobile phones”.