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Monday, June 21, 2004

Offbeat - AFP / Prisoners get TVs to stop riot over England football game

Offbeat - AFP

Prisoners get TVs to stop riot over England football game
Wed Jun 16, 8:11 AM ET Add Offbeat - AFP to My Yahoo!

LONDON (AFP) - Officers at Dartmoor gaol avoided a planned riot by giving inmates televisions to watch the Euro 2004 football match between England and France.

Prisoners were planning to wreck the remote Devon prison because they could not watch Sunday's European Championships game, which France won 2-1.

But prison bosses swiftly chased up an outstanding 4,000-pound order for TV sets before rounding up the ringleaders and placing them in a separate unit - where televisions and radios are banned.

"In no way did the prison bow to any sort of blackmail," a senior Dartmoor official told The Sun.

"We have been installing TVs in cells under our decency and humanity agenda," he was quoted as saying.

"The ringleaders of the planned riot were all identified in the segregation unit," he said. "Their plan backfired because they could not see or listen to the game."

But one officer at the prison was furious at the decision to hand brand new portable colour sets to around 25 inmates.

"It's an outrageous waste of money to appease prisoners," he told the newspaper.

"What happens when they decide to riot if they want something else?"

Dartmoor was the last prison in Britain without TV sets for inmates, according to a Prison Service official quoted in The Sun.

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