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Prisoner Escapes

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have escaped while under escort from prison in each year since 1997; and how many of those escapes were from (a) private taxis and (b) custom-built cellular vehicles. (235504)

Most prisoner transfers are made by secure cellular vehicle. On occasions it is necessary to use taxis for transporting prisoners, mainly to hospital. On these occasions a risk assessment is conducted to ensure that the use of a taxi is appropriate. Only one prisoner has escaped while being transported by taxi in this period.

Data in the following table show the number of prisoners in England and Wales who have escaped from escort between April 1997 and March 2008 broken down by (a) private taxi hire (b) custom built cellular vehicles.

Total KPI escapes from escortOf which:escapes from taxis and cellular vehicles

Financial year

HMPS escort

Contractor escort

Private taxi hire

Contractor secure cellular vehicle

Prison secure cellular vehicle

1997-98

10

72

11

1998-99

7

55

4

1999-2000

8

59

9

2000-01

8

58

17

2001-02

11

40

2

2002-03

12

33

7

1

2003-04

6

33

3

2004-05

8

28

1

3

2005-06

8

17

5

1

2006-07

6

19

3

2007-08

2

16

2

Note:

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:

http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/assets/documents/10003541prison_escapes_dec_07.pdf

http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/assets/documents/l0003542prison_escort_escapes_dec_07.pdf

http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/assets/documents/10003543contracted_escort_escapes_dec_07.pdf