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Prisons: Explosives

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) suspected and (b) viable explosive devices or components have been found in each prison in England and Wales in each of the last 12 years for which figures are available. (275142)

The following tables show a breakdown of (a) suspected and (b) viable explosive devices or components found in each prison in England and Wales in each of the last 12 years up to the end of March 2009.

Of these incidents 76 per cent. were suspected devices. This category covers false alarms including such incidents as unattended bags or suspicious packages sent via the postal system, or bomb hoax calls.

Viable explosive devices mainly relate to prisoners making small incendiary devices by packing readily available flammable material such as match heads into an improvised container (17 per cent. of incidents in table); 6 per cent. of incidents relate to unexploded wartime ordnance discovered during excavation work; and, 1 per cent. relates to fireworks being found in the grounds of establishments.

There were no serious injuries as a result of any of these incidents and minor injuries were recorded in just three cases. Apart from unexploded wartime ordnance finds, none of the viable devices discovered were likely to have had the capability to cause life threatening injuries and none involved the use of sophisticated improvised explosives or commercial or military explosives.

Bomb related incidents from 1997-98 to 2008-09

1997-98

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Ashwell

1

Bedford

1

Birmingham

3

Bristol

1

Brixton

1

Cardiff

2

1

Doncaster

1

Frankland

1

Garth

1

Glenn Parva

1

Highdown

1

Holloway

1

Hull

1

Lewes

1

Manchester

2

Moorland

1

Pentonville

1

Reading

1

Shrewsbury

1

Stoke Heath

1

The Verne

1

Wakefield

1

Weare

1

Wellingborough

1

Whitemoor

1

Total

28

2

1998-99

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Altcourse

1

Birmingham

1

Brinsford

1

Brixton

1

Feltham

1

Feltham

1

Glen Parva

1

Highdown

2

2

Leicester

1

Lindholme

1

Liverpool

1

Long Lartin

1

Low Newton

1

Nottingham

1

Sudbury

1

Whitemoor

2

Winchester

1

Wormwood scrubs

1

Total

16

6

1999-2000

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Belmarsh

2

Bristol

1

Brockhill

1

Bullingdon

1

Canterbury

1

Chelmsford

1

Feltham

1

Ford

2

Full Sutton

1

Garth

1

Highdown

1

Hindley

1

Holloway

3

Holme House

1

Huntercombe

1

Lincoln

2

Littlehey

1

Maidstone

1

Manchester

5

2

Northallerton

2

2

Onley

1

Parc

2

Parkhurst

1

Standford

2

Swaleside

1

Whitemoor

1

Woodhill

1

Total

31

12

2000-01

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Blakenhurst

1

1

Brixton

1

Camp Hill

1

Channings Wood

1

Chelmsford

1

Doncaster

1

Downview

1

Durham

1

Forrest Bank

1

Full Sutton

1

1

Garth

2

Haverigg

1

Highpoint

1

Hindley

1

Lincoln

1

Long Lartin

1

Maidstone

1

Manchester

1

North Sea Camp

1

Parc

1

Rochester

1

Send

1

Swinfen Hall

1

Verne

2

Wakefield

1

Wolds

1

Woodhill

2

Wormwood Scrubs

1

Total

24

9

2001-02

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Bedford

1

Brockhill

2

Bullingdon

1

Canterbury

1

Cardiff

1

Durham

1

Eastwood Park

1

Elmley

1

Gloucester

2

Haverigg

1

Highpoint

1

Holloway

1

Leeds

1

Manchester

1

Moorland

2

Northallerton

1

Parc

1

Preston

1

Shepton Mallet

1

Shrewsbury

1

Swansea

1

Woodhill

1

Wormwood Scrubs

3

1

Total

26

3

2002-03

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Ashwell

3

Birmingham

1

Doncaster

1

Eastwood Park

1

Featherstone

1

Glen Parva

3

Hatfield (Moorland Open)

1

Highpoint

1

Holme House

1

Leeds

1

Leicester

1

1

Lewes

1

Lincoln

1

Lindholme

1

Northallerton

1

Parc

1

Preston

1

Send

1

Standford Hill

2

Wayland

1

Wolds

2

Woodhill

1

Wormwood Scrubs

1

Total

21

9

2003-04

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Ashwell

1

Birmingham

1

Bristol

1

Dartmoor

1

Dover

1

Downview

1

Hatfield (Moorland Open)

1

Lancaster

3

Leicester

1

Lewes

1

Lincoln

1

Lindholme

2

Manchester

1

1

Stafford

1

1

Wakefield

1

Wandsworth

1

Winchester

1

Wormwood Scrubs

2

Total

16

8

2004-05

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Belmarsh

1

Blundeston

1

Bristol

1

Bullingdon

1

Bullwood Hall

1

Eastwood Park

1

Feltham

1

Guys Marsh

1

Holloway

1

Hull

1

Leeds

Leicester

1

Lincoln

1

Lindholme

1

Lowdham Grange

1

Manchester

1

North Sea Camp

1

Norwich

1

Parc

3

1

Pentonville

1

Portland

1

Wayland

1

Wolds

1

Total

19

6

2005-06

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Aylesbury

1

Belmarsh

2

Bristol

2

Bullingdon

1

Elmley

1

Full Sutton

1

Hindley

1

Hollesley Bay

1

Holme House

1

Hull

1

Manchester

2

2

Moorland

1

Warren Hill

1

Whitemoor

1

Total

13

6

2006-07

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Albany

1

Aylesbury

1

Bristol

1

Canterbury

1

Castington

1

Elmley

2

Garth

2

Glen Parva

2

Haverigg

2

Highpoint

1

Hull

1

Lindholme

1

New Hall

2

Peterborough

2

Send

1

Standford Hill

1

Stoke Heath

2

Swinfen Hall

1

Thorn Cross

1

Wakefield

1

Wormwood Scrubs

1

Total

19

9

2007-08

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Belmarsh

1

Canterbury

1

Edmunds hill

1

Feltham

1

Frankland

2

Full Sutton

3

Gartree

1

Leeds

1

Lewes

1

Long Lartin

1

Norwich

1

Parc

1

Risley

1

Rye Hill

1

Stoke Heath

1

Swaleside

1

Swinfen hall

1

Thorn cross

1

Wakefield

2

Whitemoor

1

Total

20

4

2008-09

Establishment

Suspected

Viable explosive devices or components

Belmarsh

1

Bristol

1

Brixton

1

Chelmsford

1

Elmley

1

Full Sutton

1

Garth

1

Haverigg

1

Leicester

1

Lindholme

1

Long Lartin

2

1

Manchester

2

1

Moorland

1

Parc

1

Pentonville

1

Standford Hill

1

The Mount

1

Wellingborough

1

Whitemoor

1

Woodhill

2

Wormwood Scrubs

2

Total

21

6

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.