It has been reported that last year saw a record number of £1.5 million in compensation being paid out to prison officers who had been attacked by prisoners.

This comes at the same time as a rise in the levels of violence committed in the prisons, including a serious rise in violent attacks against prison officers.

Experts believe that a surge in legal high availability as well as reduction of police officers in prisons is to blame for the rise in violence.

Prison Officers Association spokesperson Glyn Travis said: “There has been a spike in compensation because there are more serious, violent and horrific assaults taking place, some which have been life-threatening and career-ending.

“These figures are an alarming wake-up call to the Ministry of Justice and the public to see how prisons are extremely dangerous and violent.”

It has been found that Liverpool jail Altcourse, which is private firm G4S, has been the worst prison for violence, with over 150 violent attacks made against guards in 2015.

Amongst the police officers who received compensation, Iain Fleming from Swaleside jail Kent, was offered £35,000 compensation after he was left with permanent shoulder injuries after he was stabbed with a sharpened plastic knife.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Violence against our hard-working and dedicated prison staff is completely unacceptable.

“We take a zero tolerance approach to such incidents and always work with the police to try and secure prosecutions.”