A prominent city solicitor has accused a prison escort firm of putting their staff at risk of coronavirus.
Andy Lyall this week blasted GeoAmey – the company that transports prisoners to and from Dundee Sheriff Court – for failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for its staff.
The Tele previously told how the GMB union criticised the company for failing to protect staff during the pandemic.
However, the company say that full PPE is available to its staff.
Mr Lyall was speaking after being involved in a case last week where it was disclosed that an accused appearing from custody believed he was suffering from coronavirus symptoms.
The man was seen sitting in the dock alongside two other prisoners and three GeoAmey officers.
When addressing Sheriff Lorna Drummond this week, Mr Lyall said: “Like some of the other lawyers, I scuttled to the back of the court.
“They (the officers) could not go anywhere or get away from him. They are not provided with protective clothing.
“No officer who appears in your court is supplied with PPE and that is something that should be taken up at a higher level with their employers.
“It is a source of complete disgrace that they are exposed to the virus which is prevalent in all of our prisons now.”
GeoAmey officers continue to be handcuffed to many prisoners in the dock despite government social distancing guidelines.
In response, a spokesman from GeoAmey said: “We note the comments made by the visiting solicitor but would advise that GeoAmey has robust guidance in place which has been developed with input from science and health care professionals and sets out the correct procedure for using personal protective equipment.
“Full PPE is available to all officers and is used in line with our internal guidance which has been put in place to protect the health of our staff members and those prisoners in our care and custody.
“The fundamental role of our officers is to escort those detained in custody, therefore we cannot always completely adhere with social distancing guidelines.”
Support the Tele today.
The Tele is Dundee Born and Read, and is committed to providing news to our communities. Right now that’s more important than ever, which is why our key content is free. You can chose to support us and access premium content by subscribing to the Evening Telegraph from just £5.99 a month.Subscribe