Prison fence toppings - HMP Oakwood | News | Zaun Ltd

Zaun toppings combat prison riots

Zaun toppings combat prison riots

08th July 2014

A British fencing manufacturer located a stone’s throw from the scene of a ‘full-scale prison riot’ earlier this year has introduced a range of high-security fence, wall and roof toppings to provide enhanced intruder protection for secure establishments and buildings.

A prison officer at England’s largest prison, HMP Oakwood, near Wolverhampton, told BBC Radio 4’s The Report programme there had been a ‘full-scale prison riot’ after G4S, which runs the prison, described the incident as an incident of “concerted indiscipline” by 15 to 20 prisoners.

The officer, who went inside to tackle the violence, told the BBC many more inmates had been involved, and they took over an entire wing of the jail. Some had booby-trapped doorways and were shouting threats from behind a barricade, he said.

Perimeter protection systems manufacturer Zaun, whose headquarters is just three miles nearer Wolverhampton, has introduced a series of toppings to prevent inmates – or intruders or patients – scaling fences or gaining access to rooftops secure institutions.

The Mesh Anti-Climb Topping (MACT) system is see-through and installed in sections, providing clear line-of-sight for CCTV systems and, more prosaically, so blockages, for instance, from wind-blown leaf build-up, can be seen and easily cleared.

MACT can be installed in conjunction with CCTV, PIDs and infra-red alarms and, as standard, includes a wired alarm to alert any attempt to scale the system. It uses the barrel concept, but instead of sheet metal, the tube section is made of anti-climb mesh.

The Flexible Steel Topping (FST) system is fully tested for use in UK high-security prisons. At the heart of FST is a steel mesh arch, curved back over the top of a steel fence, fixed to a flexible steel bracket designed to move when people try to climb it.

Barbed tape is the most common form of protective topping, in either straight wire or spiral concertina, providing a highly visual deterrent and resistance to intrusion.

Zaun also offers electric fence toppings for some of the country’s key infrastructure sites, creating a powerful physical and psychological addiction to secure fencing systems.