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Police Custody

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many cases of prisoners being held in short-term police custody cells owing to insufficient prison capacity there have been in each of the last five years; (252284)

(2) on how many occasions Operation Safeguard cells were used in each of the last three years.

Operation Safeguard is the formal agreement between the National Offender Management Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers to hold prisoners in police cells at times of very high population pressure.

Operation Safeguard was activated between 12 October and 22 December 2006 and again from 16 January 2007 to 31 October 2008. The table covers these periods and gives the aggregate total of the number of prisoner nights in which a police cell was used during each year shown. It is not possible to ascertain how many individual prisoners these totals cover.

Aggregate number of prisoner nights in police cells