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Prison Staff: Crimes of Violence

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many knife attacks were made on prison staff by prisoners in prisons in 2007. (178780)

The information requested is set out in the table and subject to important qualifications. The Prison Service Incident Reporting System processes high volumes of data which are constantly being updated. The numbers provide a good indication of overall numbers but should not be interpreted as absolute. There is a slight lag in reporting which means that the provisional number mentioned here will rise a little in the coming months. Assault information is recorded at establishment level in four categories: Prisoner on Prisoner, Prisoner on Officer, Prisoner on Other, and Other. Recording of assaults on prison officers sometimes includes assaults on other prison staff.

The use of weapons is also recorded at establishment level. Weapons which function as knives are usually manufactured/assembled by prisoners and these artefacts are sometimes also categorised as sharp instruments.

Type of weapon

Prisoner on Officer



Sharp Instruments


2007 total



This table does not include data from CNOMIS (offender management information system) sites where data was not available at time of compilation.