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Prisons: Locks and Keys

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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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 incidents of lost keys have required the relocking of prisons since May 2010; and at what cost.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Security is paramount within prisons and it is important that the risk of any potential key compromise is addressed as quickly as possible in order to protect the public. When a key/lock incident is reported an immediate investigation is undertaken to assess the risk and unless it is clear that security has not been compromised, then locking mechanisms and keys will be replaced and/or other necessary remedial action will be taken.

A range of procedural and physical measures are used to assist in the secure management of keys in prisons. These increasingly include electronic and biometric systems.

The information requested is provided below.

Table 1 - costs of partial/full relocking of prisons due to loss of keys from May 2010 - 29 October 2014:

14/05/2010 Swaleside £95,430

21/06/2010 Glen Parva £208,329

04/11/2010 Warren Hill £101,301

20/12/2010 Ashwell £15,576

24/10/2011 Birmingham £499,000 (Paid for by G4S)

09/01/2012 Maidstone £5,847

28/02/2014 Lindholme £40,286

08/05/2014 Haverigg £32,882

21/07/2014 Highpoint £14, 933

Table 2 – number of reported incidents of lost keys from April 2010 – 31 March 2014:

2010/11 - 62

2011/12 - 67

2012/13 – 73

2013/14 – 35 (* see note below)

* Note: a change in the reporting requirements for key/lock incidents from April 2013 has resulted in a lower “lost keys” figure for 2013/14 in comparison to the three previous years. In addition to keys “lost”, the figures for the three previous years include keys inadvertently taken out of prisons and subsequently returned, but the figure for 2013/14 includes only keys lost, not those inadvertently taken out and returned.

The figures quoted have been drawn from live administrative databases and may subsequently be amended. Due care is taken during processing and analysis, but the detail is subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Security is paramount within prisons and it is important that the risk of any potential key compromise is addressed as quickly as possible in order to protect the public. When a key/lock incident is reported an immediate investigation is undertaken to assess the risk and unless it is clear that security has not been compromised, then locking mechanisms and keys will be replaced and/or other necessary remedial action will be taken.

A range of procedural and physical measures are used to assist in the secure management of keys in prisons. These increasingly include electronic and biometric systems.

The information requested is provided below.

Table 1 - costs of partial/full relocking of prisons due to loss of keys from May 2010 - 29 October 2014:

14/05/2010 Swaleside £95,430

21/06/2010 Glen Parva £208,329

04/11/2010 Warren Hill £101,301

20/12/2010 Ashwell £15,576

24/10/2011 Birmingham £499,000 (Paid for by G4S)

09/01/2012 Maidstone £5,847

28/02/2014 Lindholme £40,286

08/05/2014 Haverigg £32,882

21/07/2014 Highpoint £14, 933

Table 2 – number of reported incidents of lost keys from April 2010 – 31 March 2014:

2010/11 - 62

2011/12 - 67

2012/13 – 73

2013/14 – 35 (* see note below)

* Note: a change in the reporting requirements for key/lock incidents from April 2013 has resulted in a lower “lost keys” figure for 2013/14 in comparison to the three previous years. In addition to keys “lost”, the figures for the three previous years include keys inadvertently taken out of prisons and subsequently returned, but the figure for 2013/14 includes only keys lost, not those inadvertently taken out and returned.

The figures quoted have been drawn from live administrative databases and may subsequently be amended. Due care is taken during processing and analysis, but the detail is subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.