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Prisoners (Police Cells)

Volume 79: debated on Friday 17 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 8 May, Official Report, column 407, what are the industrial relations problems that make it necessary to detain remand prisoners in police and court cells.

Industrial action by prison staff leading to prisoners being held in police cells has taken place at five establishments during 1985. The issues were as follows:

  • (a) attempts to reduce operating capacity;
  • (b) refusal to admit prisoners after a given hour;
  • (c) refusal to admit prisoners diverted from another establishment;
  • (d) the reception and management of prisoners possibly suffering from AIDS or hepatitis.
  • asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 8 May, Official Report, column 407, what are the transport and other logistical problems that make it necessary to detain remand prisoners in police and court cells.

    Prisoners from London magistrates' courts pass through a central clearing house from whence they are delivered to the appropriate establishments. This operation can occasionally be disrupted by factors such as the late sitting of a court, traffic delays, vehicle breakdowns or staff sickness with the result that prisoners sometimes cannot be delivered before the prison reception closes for the night.