ATTACKS on staff and inmates at HMP Risley have more than tripled in the past five years, according to new figures.

Ministry of Justice statistics state that 221 assaults were recorded at Risley prison during 2017.

This is an increase of 220 per cent compared to 2012, when only 69 assaults were recorded.

In 2017, 56 attacks on HMP Risley staff were reported while 28 were recorded as being serious - including sexual assaults and incidents were the victim was hospitalised.

Cases of self-harm at HMP Risley have also risen dramatically since 2012.

A total of 252 such incidents were recorded at the prison last year, compared to 50 five years ago.

Meanwhile, MoJ figures have also shown that prisoners at Risley are being forced to share cells designed for one inmate.

In March, a total of 1,062 prisoners were housed in only 1,027 spaces at HMP Risley.

An MoJ spokesman said: “The levels of violence, suicide and self-harm in ours prisons are far too high and we are taking urgent action to address these problems. “Assaults on our hardworking staff will never be tolerated.

“We are ensuring prison officers have the tools they need to do the job - rolling out body-worn cameras, police-style handcuffs and restraints and trialling PAVA incapacitant spray.

“Our recruitment drive is vital to ensuring prisons are safe, secure and decent so they can successfully rehabilitate offenders.

“Prison numbers can fluctuate, which is why we have robust plans in place to ensure we always have enough prison places for those sent to us by the court.

“We will always ensure there are enough cells across the prison estate and manage this in a way that gives taxpayers the best possible value for money.”