The following figures give the number of occasions on which prisoners were held in police cells under Operation Safeguard in England and Wales in each of the last six months and the average number of prisoners per night. One occasion is defined as one prisoner night spent in a police cell.
|Month||Number of occasions||Average number in Safeguard per night( 1)|
|(1) Based on number of nights that Safeguard was available in each month|
Police forces invoice NOMS in arrears and it is not possible to attach a specific cost to each of these figures. However, the current estimated average cost of a Safeguard place is about £385 per night.
In addition there were some 144 ad-hoc lockouts in the last six months. This is an emergency measure to hold prisoners overnight. It is used, for example, when the designated prison's reception will be closed before their arrival time, usually due to the distance of the journey or time of departure from court. Ad-hoc lockouts cost an average £120 per night.
Police cells have been used to hold prisoners before. They were used to hold prisoners regularly from 1982 until 1993, and from 1994-95. They were also used from July to November 2002. Their use peaked in 1988, and peaked again in 1990-92, when more than 1,000 prisoners a night were being regularly held in police cells.