Prisoner Escapes

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd January 2015.

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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 offences were committed by (a) escaped or (b) absconded prisoners in each year since 2010; and what those offences were.

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 prisoners have escaped from prison vans in each year since 2010; how many such prisoners remain on the run; of what offences each such prisoner was convicted; and what length of custodial sentence each such prisoner was given.

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

The number of escapes from custody has been falling since 1995 when central records began, despite an increasing prison population. Absconds have reached record lows under this Government, falling by more than 80 per cent in the last 10 years, but we have not been complacent. We have made major changes to tighten the system. Offenders who escape or abscond are an extremely small proportion of the almost 86,000 offenders in the prison system at the moment.

To establish what offences were committed by escaped or absconded prisoners would require the examination of core records for each prisoner that had escaped or absconded since 2010. This could only be achieved at disproportionate cost.

The table below shows the details of escapes occurring from prison escort vans between April 2010 and March 2014. The offence and sentence length is that recorded at the time of the escape. All prisoners who escaped from prison vans have subsequently been arrested and returned to custody. The table includes escorts conducted by contractors under the Prison Escort and Custody Services contract and HM Prison Service staff.

Table 1: Escapes from prison vans between April 2010 and March 2014, by year.

Year

Offence

Sentence at time of escape

10/11

Assault/arson

Remand

11/12

Robbery

IPP

11/12

Possession of a firearm

Remand

11/12

Possession of a firearm

7 years

11/12

Unknown

Unknown

11/12

Assault

Remand

11/12

Burglary

54 Months

11/12

Supply class a drugs

Convicted Unsentenced

12/13

Burglary

Remand

12/13

Burglary

Unknown

13/14

Robbery

7 years 10 months

13/14

Robbery

14 years

13/14

Aggravated burglary

Uncategorised

13/14

Burglary

Remand

Figures for the number of escapes since 1995 are provided in the Prison Digest contained in the Prison and Probation Trusts Performance Statistics. This can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-and-probation-trusts-performance-statistics-201314

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