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Prisons: Crimes of Violence

Justice written question – answered on 18th July 2013.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Shadow Minister (London), Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many assaults against prison staff in the (a) youth estate and (b) adult estate there were in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The National Offender Management Service take a zero tolerance approach to violence in prisons. Any offender assaulting a member of staff may be dealt with by the IEP scheme, by an adjudication or by referral to the police for prosecution, depending on the severity of the assault. While on duty prison officers have all the powers, authority and protection of a constable and a prisoner assaulting a prison officer may be charged with assault on a constable.

Assaults on staff are recorded for HM Prisons and young offender institutes. Where an assault occurs in a shared site, it is not possible to identify with certainty in which part of the establishment the assault occurred. As a proxy, figures are provided for assaults on staff involving those aged under 18 as being in the youth estate and those aged 18 and over as being in the adult estate:

Assaults on staff by age group
  2010 2011 2012
Adult (ages 18 years and above) 2,436 2,767 2691
Youth (ages 15 to 17 years) 413 365 296

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