Prisons: Arson

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and Rural Communities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many national prison arson reduction workshops have been held in each of the last 12 quarters; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

We will never compromise on the safety of those in our care, and staff are trained to respond to emergency situations in a timely, appropriate manner. The Government is taking unprecedented action to improve safety in custody. We have invested significantly in increasing staff numbers, recruiting an additional 4,366 (full time equivalent) prison officers between October 2016 and June 2019, surpassing our original target of 2,500. We will continue to recruit officers to ensure prisons are safe and decent.

The continued reduction of fires across the prison estate is of significant importance to HMPPS with an inaugural national arson reduction workshop held in April 2019. The objectives of the workshop were to develop national good practice to prevent fire setting, and to form an Arson Reduction Working Group. The Working Group met in June and will meet again this month.

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