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Police: Prison Accommodation

Justice written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of David Ruffley David Ruffley Conservative, Bury St Edmunds

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners are being held in police cells; at what cost; and how many have been so held in (a) England and Wales and (b) each police force area in each year since 2009.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

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.

In addition to Operation Safeguard arrangements, prisoners may be held overnight in police cells as a “lockout”. Lockouts can arise from a number of factors, including late court sittings, which can compromise the contractors' ability to deliver the prisoner to prison prior to the reception closure time. Under an agreement between NOMS and ACPO, NOMS are charged a flat rate fee of £55.00 per prisoner per night for the use of police cells in these circumstances.

On 26 April 2010, Hansard, column168W, I provided my hon. Friend with the total number of prisoners held overnight in a police cell as a lockout in 2010.

The following table shows the number of lockouts in 2009, 2010 (information provided previously) and 2011 (up to 31 March).

Number of l ockouts in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (1) by police force area
Police force 2009 2010 2011 (1)
Avon and Somerset 0 0 0
Bedfordshire 12 4 4
BTP 0 0 0
Buckinghamshire 0 0 0
Cambridgeshire 0 0 0
Cheshire 0 0 0
City of London 0 0 0
Cleveland 0 0 0
Cumbria 0 0 0
Derbyshire 0 0 0
Devon and Cornwall 9 4 0
Dorset 0 3 0
Durham 0 0 0
Dyfed Powys 0 0 0
Essex 8 9 1
Gloucestershire 0 0 0
Greater Manchester 0 1 0
Gwent 0 1 0
Hampshire 6 8 3
Hertfordshire 11 10 3
Humberside 0 3 1
Kent 4 19 1
Lancashire 2 0 0
Leicestershire 20 11 2
Lincolnshire 1 2 0
Merseyside 0 0 0
Metropolitan Police 67 101 31
Middlesex 0 0 0
Norfolk 3 0 0
North Yorkshire 0 1 0
North Wales 0 0 0
Northamptonshire 3 1 0
Northumbria 0 0 0
Nottinghamshire 2 0 1
South Yorkshire 0 1 0
South Wales 0 0 0
Staffordshire 0 1 0
Suffolk 0 7 0
Surrey 6 2 0
Sussex 3 19 0
Thames Valley 18 10 0
West Mercia 0 0 0
West Midlands 0 0 0
West Yorkshire 0 0 0
Warwickshire 0 2 0
Wiltshire 0 0 0
Total 175 220 47
(1) Up to 31 March

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