Political News Updates

22.06.2014

Prison Accommodation

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners are being held in police cells; what the daily cost is of holding such prisoners; and how many prisoners were held in police cells in (a) Bury St Edmunds constituency, (b) Suffolk and (c) England and Wales in each of the last five years. [200745]

Jeremy Wright: The number of prisoners held overnight in a police cell has come down to around 1,400 in 2013-14, after reaching a peak of over 50,000 in 2007-08.

Prison numbers fluctuate throughout the year and we have sufficient accommodation for the current and expected population. We will always have enough prison places for those sent to us by the courts. There will be more adult male prison capacity in May 2015 than there was at the start of this Parliament.

Police cells, under Operation Safeguard, have not been used since 22 September 2008 and no police cells under Operation Safeguard have been on stand by since the end of October 2008.

We are not using police cells due to a lack of space, but because it is not always possible to transfer prisoners from courts to prisons in the time available at the end of court sittings—we have over half a million prisoner transfers a year so it is unsurprising that occasionally we cannot get prisoners back to their prison for one night.

As part of standard logistical arrangements, there are occasions where prisoners may be temporarily held overnight in police cells. This is solely for overnight accommodation by the police before collection and onward transmission to the prison establishment the following working day. This is not the same as using Operation Safeguard, as in 2007-08.
For the above occasions, under the existing National Offender Management Service/Association of Chief Police Officers National Framework Agreement, it costs £55 for a prisoner to stay in a police cell overnight

The following table shows (i) the total number of prisoners who were temporarily held overnight in police cells in England and Wales in each year since 2005-06 and (ii) of which, the numbers held in police cells in the Suffolk police force area (identified by the number in brackets), in each year since 2009-10. The totals include adults, young adults (18 to 20-year-olds) and young people (15 to 17-year-olds). In order to identify individual police station locations to identify those in the Bury St Edmunds constituency would require a manual check of each record and this could not be done without incurring disproportionate cost.

 

Number

2005-06

286

2006-07

16,719

2007-08

52,879

2008-09

4,769

2009-10

182 (1)

2010-11

191 (6)

2011-12

1,474 (1)

2012-13

686 (1)

2013-14

1,412 (4)

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on how many occasions prisoners were held in (a) police station and (b) court cells in each month since January 2014. [201489]

Jeremy Wright: The number of prisoners held overnight in a police cell has come down to around 1,400 in 2013-14, after reaching a peak of over 50,000 in 2007-08.

Prison numbers fluctuate throughout the year and we have sufficient accommodation for the current and expected population. We will always have enough prison places for those sent to us by the courts. There will be more adult male prison capacity in May 2015 than there was at the start of this Parliament.

Police cells, under Operation Safeguard, have not been used since 22 September 2008 and no police cells under Operation Safeguard have been on stand by since the end of October 2008. Court cells have not been used since 28 February 2008 and have been stood down since March 2008.

As part of standard logistical arrangements, there are occasions where prisoners may be temporarily held overnight in police cells.

We are not using police cells due to a lack of space but because it is not always possible to transfer prisoners from courts to prisons in the time available at the end of court sittings-we have over half a million prisoner transfers a year so it is unsurprising that occasionally we cannot get prisoners back to their prison for one night.

This is solely for overnight accommodation by the police before collection and onward transmission to the prison establishment the following working day. This is not the same as using Operation Safeguard, as in 2007-08.

The following table shows (i) the total number of prisoners who were temporarily held overnight in police cells in England and Wales in each month since January 2014. The totals include adults, young adults (18 to 20-year-olds) and young people (15 to 17-year-olds).

 

Number of prisoners

January 2014

168

February 2014

372

March 2014

175

April 2014

64

May 2014

46