Skip to main content

Prison Incidents

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have (a) escaped and (b) absconded from prisons in England and Wales in each of the last 12 months. [118792]

The Public Service Agreement target for escapes was published in 'Public Services for the future: Modernisation, Reform, Accountability'.The target was to maintain existing performance of no escapes by high risk (category A) prisoners and to ensure that the number of escapes from prisons, and escorts undertaken by Prison Service staff, expressed as a proportion of the prison population, is lower than 0.05 per cent.The Prison Service met this target for 2002–03. There were five escapes from prisons and no category A escapes in 2002–03.The table illustrates the number of escapes from prison and absconds broken down by month in the last 12 months.

MonthEscape from prisonNumber of absconds
May 2002051
June 2002168
July 2002181
August 2002093
September 2002083
October 2002088
November 2002276
December 2002087
January 2003068
February 2003190


Escape from prison

Number of absconds

March 20030101
April 20030115


The Prison Service definition of an abscond is when a prisoner leaves an open/Category D establishment where there is no physical barrier between them and freedom.