Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner - Kathryn Holloway, has criticised YouTube and a national newspaper website for broadcasting mobile phone videos of prisoners during the disorder at Bedford prison on Sunday - 6 November 2016, as it happened.

The Commissioner said that showing videos of prisoners as events were still unfolding was “wholly irresponsible and unacceptable,” given that the safety of prison officers had yet to be established, and as Bedfordshire Police officers were at that point on stand-by at the jail to support them in regaining control.

Commissioner Holloway stated: “Speaking as a former newswoman myself I fully understand the principle that it’s ‘news’ not ‘olds’ and that competing news services want an exclusive, but transmitting footage of prisoners out of their cells, acting as a mob and apparently trashing offices, was a potential incitement to further violence and disorder. It risked putting prison officers and police officers at further risk. That is completely unacceptable.”

Television news broadcasters showed infinitely more restraint in reporting unfolding events in declining to transmit the filmed material.

The PCC continued: “Those who were foolish enough to take part in the disorder and to so clearly identify themselves on film will no doubt be brought to book now order has been restored by the prison authorities.

“I am also proud of the way Bedfordshire Police responded so quickly and professionally to support them in accordance with established plans.”

The Commissioner said it would be even more unacceptable if prisoners, or those connected to them, earned money from the sale of videos which appeared on YouTube and the website of The Mirror newspaper.

“I sincerely hope no money changed hands so that those responsible or their associates profit from these events - that could only inflame and encourage others.”