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Prisons: Security

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st October 2019.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department’s press release, £100 million crackdown on crime in prison, published on 13 August 2019, what the previously announced £70 million to increase security and stability in prisons was spent on.

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

The Government announced an additional £100 million investment in prison security to combat crime inside prisons. The illicit economy drives a significant amount of crime in the prison estate, so it is a priority to ensure security is robust to prevent contraband being smuggled into the prison system.

This announcement is the latest in a series of significant investments to increase security and stability in prisons, including the £70m announced previously. The £70 million was announced over the course of the financial year 2018/19 and is broken down as follows:

  • £10m for the Ten Prisons Project;
  • £30.5m to improve decency;
  • £11.5m for security; and
  • £17m for in-cell telephony and associated cabling.1

The new £100m investment will now help us to go further and faster to improve prison security by investing in more enhanced gate security such as baggage scanners, body scanners and metal detectors. We are also stepping up our counter-corruption capability and strengthening (in scale and reach) intelligence-led operations and investigations with law enforcement partners against those that present the greatest threat of harm to prison security and the community.

1 These figures are subject to rounding but would otherwise total £70m.

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