BC Corrections officer attacked by inmate amid calls for better safety for guards

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Another B.C. Corrections officer has been violently attacked by an inmate in the second incident this month.

The latest incident took place last Saturday evening at the North Fraser Pre-trial Center in Port Coquitlam.

“The officer was sucker punched from behind by an inmate, knocking him unconscious and then kicking him several times while he was down,” said Dean Purdy with the B.C. government and service employees union (BCGEU).

He said the attack appears to have been targeted.

READ MORE: Union calls for better safety for B.C. jail guards

Purdy said luckily a second officer stepped in, “if he wasn’t there, the officer could have been killed or seriously injured.”

The union says the problem is the ratio of inmates to guards.

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Earlier this month an officer was at risk of losing a finger after an inmate attacked them at Surrey Pre-Trial Centre. According to the union an officer can end up working with more than 70 inmates.

In response, B.C. Corrections says it does not staff units on a fixed-ratio basis, but that it’s staffed based on risk assessments.