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Prisoner Escapes

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have escaped while under escort from prison in the last 24 months; and how many of those escapes were from (a) private taxis and (b) custom built cellular vehicles. (232249)

Mr. Hanson: No prisoners being transported by taxi in 2006-07 and 2007-08 have escaped. Taxis are rarely used for transporting prisoners to and from court or for inter-prison transfers. On occasions they may be used for emergency transport, including hospital admission where an ambulance is not appropriate.

A risk assessment is conducted to ensure that the use of a taxi is appropriate.

Data contained in the following table show the number of prisoners who (a) have escaped from escort between April 2006 and March 2008 broken down by (b) private taxi hire (c) custom built cellular vehicles.

Financial year

HM Prison Service escort

Contractor escort

Private taxi hire

Contractor secure cellular vehicle











These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Further information can be found at the Prison Service website: