Prisoner Escapes

Home Department written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Liberal Democrat, Montgomeryshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) escapes and (b) attempted escapes there have been from prisons in each year since 2007; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of escapes from custody has been falling since 1995 when the current central recording system for this type of incident began; this is against the backdrop of an increasing prison population. Despite these successes in reducing escapes, work continues to identify and remove risks which could lead to escapes.

The following table shows the number of escapes and attempted escapes by year from April 2007. There have been no escapes of category A prisoners from prison since 1995.

Prisoners escaping from prison in England and Wales between 1 April 2007 and end of February 2010
Escapes Attempted escape
2007-08 4 60
2008-09 1 45
2009-10 (to end February 2010) 2 39

1. All figures shown are for key performance indicator escapes recorded as part of the National Offender Management Service performance management system.

2. Attempted escapes include any attempt to breach the perimeter or incidents that are indicative of advanced planning for an escape or finds of equipment that could be used for an escape.

3. These figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems which may be amended at any time. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

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