Eight officers assaulted by inmate at Surrey pretrial centre

The Surrey Pretrial Services Centre. Ministry of Attorney General

Eight correctional officers were assaulted by an inmate while on shift at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if any of the officers were injured, but the Ministry of Public Safety said all affected staff were attended to by health-care workers and offered support services by the Critical Incident Response Team.

The incident was reported to the RCMP for investigation, and BC Corrections is conducting its own internal investigation into the matter.

BC Corrections said management will be working with the union to develop an impact statement.

It added that it has implemented several measures to reduce risks to staff, including notifying staff members of possibly violent individuals through a database alert system, minimizing staff proximity to individuals known to be violent and enhanced training to support those with complex needs.

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The BC General Employees Union (BCGEU) said it was working to support the members directly involved, and was pushing for improvements to overall health and safety measures.

“We will review the forthcoming WorkSafeBC investigation to determine what additional measures may be put in place to help prevent similar incidences in the future,” said the union in a statement.

In addition to this incident, the Union says it has seen officers punched, hit, and threatened and assaults on officers often results in medical leaves, early resignations and challenges recruiting new staff.

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