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Prisoners: Police Cells

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much the Prison Service has paid Suffolk police authority for use of its police cells in each of the last five years. (167906)

Police forces involved in Operation Safeguard charge NOMS in arrears for the cost of making police cells available to accommodate prisoners.

To date in 2007 NOMS has paid Suffolk police force £366,964 for Operation Safeguard usage in 2006 and 2007.

Prisoners are also sometimes held in police cells as “lockouts”. A lockout is an emergency measure used to hold prisoners overnight and is only used, for example, when the designated prison’s reception will be closed before their arrival time.

£1,847 was paid to Suffolk police in 2006-07 for lockout usage and £1,155 has been paid to date in 2007-08. Information on the amount paid in the three years previous to 2006-07 is not available. As police forces submit invoices in arrears, payments do not necessarily relate to the years in which the lockouts took place.