Fears have been raised over morale at Wrexham prison amid reports of assaults by inmates and staff authority being undermined.

Mark Fairhurst, chairman of the Prisoner Officers Association (POA), has issued an open invitation to HMP Berwyn governor Russ Trent to discuss a range of issues with local representatives.

Among these concerns was a lack of consequences for anti-social behaviour or violence towards staff, Mr Fairhurst said.

“Staff are being assaulted on a weekly basis and we want all these assaults prosecuted, but a lot of the time the police have said that it’s not in the public interest,” he said.

Mr Fairhurst said there was a memorandum from every police force in the UK to prosecute.

He added prisoners were being allowed to stay in the wing where they committed the assaults, which has an effect on staff morale.

Mr Fairhurst told the Leader one of the concerns raised by staff was that they felt undermined by disciplinary decisions being overturned at governor’s hearings.

Prisoners are placed on report for misbehaviour, and the matters go to adjudication, where the governor decides whether the prisoner is guilty.

Officers are supposed to be notified of hearings so they have the chance to attend, but Mr Fairhurst said matters were being “timed out” or being dismissed, which was also having an effect on staff morale.

The association chairman added the POA had exchanged emails with senior management for “the last three months at least” to express staff concerns, but they still had not been addressed.

Mr Fairhurst said: “I’m placing on record an open invitation to Mr Trent – who I have every confidence in to put this right – to sit down with me and the local POA committee to address their concerns and issues and formulate an action plan so we can all move forward together.”

He added he was confident HMP Berwyn could still be a success if staff moved forward together.

It is understood that feedback to the Prison Service says morale is good and that HMP Berwyn has normal levels of staff retention.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We do not tolerate violence against our hard-working staff and will always push for the strongest punishment for those found guilty.

“HMP Berwyn is performing well since it opened last year, and represents a key part of our £1.3 billion investment to reform and modernise the prison estate.

“But we know more must be done to improve safety across the estate, which is why we introduced body-worn cameras and additional CCTV, and have invested £100m to recruit 2,500 extra officers.

“The prison also meets regularly with the POA to understand the concerns of their members, and to feedback on any relevant progress made.”