Political News Updates

18.06.2014

Prisons: Crimes of Violence

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many assaults on prison officers were committed by inmates in UK prisons in the last five years; and how many working days were lost as a result of such assaults. [200252]

Jeremy Wright: NOMS takes the issue of assaults very seriously. It currently has systems in place to deal with perpetrators quickly and robustly, with serious incidents referred to the police for prosecution. It is working closely with the police and CPS to develop a new joint protocol to report crimes in prison—this includes pushing for prosecutions when prison staff are attacked.

The number of prisoner on officer assaults in England and Wales prisons for each year over the last five years is presented in Table 3.8 of the assaults tables in each Safety in Custody statistics bulletin. The latest bulletin can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/safety-in-custody-statistics

The Ministry of Justice is not responsible for prisons in other Administrations of the United Kingdom.

Figures for the number of working days lost due to sickness arising from assaults on officers are shown in table 1. The data in this table are based on approved claims for sick leave excusal, whereby a period of absence that can be attributed to an assault at work does not count against the officer’s allowance of sick pay. It is not specifically recorded that the assaults were initiated by prisoners. Table 1 shows that staff sickness fluctuates from year to year.

Table 1: Number of working days lost by officers granted sick leave excusal for reasons of assault, 2005-06 to 2013-14

 

Working days lost with sick leave excusal granted

Percentage of all sick

2013-14

9,020

2.2

2012-13

8,270

1.9

2011-12

10,280

2.2

2010-11

10,330

2.1

2009-10

3,950

0.7

2008-09

9,250

1.6

2007-08

12,360

2.1

2006-07

7,440

1.3

2005-06

11,890

2