Prisons: Civil Disorder

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prison (a) riots and (b) acts of concerted indiscipline there were in each year since 2010.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The term "riot" is not a category that is used to record incidents in prison. Incidents where two or more prisoners act together to defy a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment are all recorded as Concerted Indiscipline.

The table below provides the number of reported incidents of concerted indiscipline between January 2010 and September 2014.

Concerted indiscipline incidents vary widely in nature and duration and many of these incidents are relatively minor and of short duration and cause little disruption to the prison regime.

Only a very small number of these incidents are serious enough to require external support from specialist intervention teams and the number of such interventions has not increased over recent years.

Table 1: Concerted Indiscipline, by year, January 2010 to September 2014





2014 (to 30th September)

Concerted Indiscipline






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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