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197 | 22.02.2019

Latest HMPPS Workforce & Violence Statistics

Despite the Governments assurance that all is well in the Prison Service the latest statistics do not support their assertions. Leaders of the POA are calling for more investment to reduce violence, improve retention of staff and make prisons safe.

The prison population in 2010 was 84,897 and today it stands at 82,567. However, the Service operates with more than 10% less frontline staff than in 2010, in addition to the reduction of 24% Band 2 uniform staff, who play a key role in the day to day operation of the Service.

36% of the current frontline discipline staff has less than 2 years’ service.

It currently costs the taxpayer on average £11,000 pounds to train each new member of staff and these costs are due to rise considerably as initial training is expanded. Leaders of the POA said;

“We welcome the changes to training but if the percentage of leavers continues to increase, we will lose more and more money, short term gains will lead to long term losses”.

5,702 Officer’s (Band 3) joined within the reporting period as well as 1,027 OSG (Band 2) unfortunately 2,421 Officer grades (Bands 3-5), in addition to the 521 OSG’s left.

The leaving rate for Officers (Band 3) has increased to 11.8% from 3.5% with OSG’s (Band 2) also increasing to 10.8% from 6.5%. During March 2010 and December 2018 in the same period resignations at Officer/Band 3 level increased to 7.7% from 1.4% and OSG’s/Band 2 to 6.8% from 2.5%.

The shocking statistic is that 51.6% of Band 3-5 and 42.2% of Band 2 leavers had less than 2 years’ service. Something is clearly wrong with the system.


Leaders of the POA said;

“The unprecedented levels of violence, self-harm and deaths are shocking. The Government has overseen the shambolic demise of the prison service and it’s smoke and mirrors policy, is doing nothing but paper over the cracks.”

In the same reporting period self-inflicted deaths have risen from 58 to 92, an increase of 59%. Self-harm is up 98% from 26,721 to 52,814. This is a shocking indictment on a Service in crisis.

Assaults in the reporting period are up 133% to almost 34,000 with assaults on staff rising by 243%.

Serious assaults on staff in the reporting period has risen by 220%.



For further information, contact:

POA Press Office                                                      020 8803 0255 Option 7