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Police Custody: Essex

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were held in custody in police cells in Essex in each of the last three years. (190703)

Prisoners are held in police cells either under Operation Safeguard or as ad-hoc “lockouts”.

Operation Safeguard was not used in 2005. The number of occasions on which prisoners were held under Operation Safeguard in Essex in 2006 and 2007 is shown in the table below. An occasion is one prisoner night. The average number of prisoners held under Operation Safeguard per night is also shown.



Number of occasions



Average number in Safeguard per night1



1 Based on number of nights that Safeguard was available in each year, rounded to nearest whole number

In 2006 Operation Safeguard was not used before mid-October.

Data on ad-hoc lockouts is not available for individual police forces but nationally they represent a very small proportion of the total numbers held in police cells.