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Police Custody

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what offences prisoners placed in police and court cells under Operation Safeguard had been convicted. (264711)

Under current arrangements both convicted and remand prisoners can be held over night under Operation Safeguard and court cells. Police cells under Operation Safeguard have not been used to house prisoners since 22 September 2008 and court cells have not been used since 28 February 2008.

A list of specific offences that prisoners had been convicted of, or charged with, is not held centrally. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

However (as per Prison Service Instruction 30/2006) every effort is made to avoid the use of police and court cells for certain categories of prisoner including:

prisoners with a crown court trial in progress (including those from the Court of Appeal);

all category A prisoners including potential category A prisoners (a prisoner whose escape would be highly dangerous to the public or the police or the security of the state and for whom the aim must be to make escape impossible).