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Prisoner Escapes

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners escaped from each open prison in England and Wales in each of the last (a) 12 months and (b) 12 years for which figures are available; for which offence each prisoner was originally convicted; and which prisoners are still unlawfully at large. (288435)

Escapes involve a prisoner absenting himself from prison custody without lawful authority by overcoming a physical security restraint such as that provided by fences, locks, bolts and bars, a secure vehicle or handcuffs. Absconds occur where a prisoner absents himself or herself from prison custody without lawful authority and without overcoming physical security barriers or restraints, conditions typically found in open prisons. Absconds have been falling and last year recorded the lowest number of absconds on record.

The data in table 1 show the number of prisoners who have absconded from each open prison in England and Wales for the last 12 months and numbers of prisoners who remain unlawfully at large.

Table 2 shows the number of prisoners who have absconded from each open prison in England and Wales for the last 12 years and numbers of prisoners who remain unlawfully at large. Figures for prisoners unlawfully at large prior to April 2004 are not available centrally and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.

Table 3 shows the index offences of prisoners who have absconded from each open prison since April 2004. Data are not available centrally prior to this period and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

All those located in open conditions have been risk assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public. Time spent in open prisons affords prisoners the opportunity to find work, re-establish family ties, reintegrate into the community and ensure housing needs are met. For long-term prisoners these are essential components for successful resettlement and an important factor in protecting the public.

Prisons can and do take a variety of actions to try and reduce absconds. Open prisons operate intelligence systems to try and spot those who might be planning to abscond; prisoners are screened and those who are at significant risk of absconding are sent back to closed conditions; in many areas the prison, police and CPS are working together to maximise the prosecution of absconders to provide a deterrent to others who may be thinking of doing the same.

Table 1: Numbers of prisoners who have absconded from open prisons in England and Wales for the last 12 months (first row for each prison) and those who remain unlawfully at large(second row for each prison)

2008

2009

Establishments

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Askham Grange

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Blantyre House

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Drake Hall

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

East Sutton Park

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ford

3

7

5

6

5

4

4

2

4

2

1

0

0

1

2

2

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

Grendon/Springhill

0

3

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

3

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Hewell

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

1

2

1

5

4

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

Hollesley Bay

1

3

1

1

1

3

0

0

2

2

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Kirkham

1

2

4

5

6

4

0

3

0

4

0

2

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kirklevington

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Latchmere House

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leyhill

6

5

5

5

6

4

0

6

3

0

3

3

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Moorland

2

4

6

1

3

1

1

3

4

3

3

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2

Morton Hall

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Sea Camp

0

1

1

4

4

1

0

0

0

0

3

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Norwich (Resettlement Unit)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Standford Hill

1

7

1

2

3

15

1

2

1

2

1

5

0

1

0

0

1

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

Sudbury

2

2

0

2

1

2

4

1

4

3

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thorn Cross

1

1

2

6

0

4

3

1

3

7

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Usk/Prescoed

2

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Note:

The second row of each establishment shows the number of prisoners still unlawfully at large.

Table 2: Numbers of prisoners who have absconded from open prisons in England and Wales for the last 12 years (first row for each prison) and those who remain unlawfully at large(second row for each prison)

Establishments

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Askham Grange

35

17

20

21

19

12

31

12

14

7

11

4

0

0

0

0

0

Blantyre House

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Drake Hall1

122

134

94

39

33

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

East Sutton Park

5

3

3

3

3

0

1

2

4

2

0

0

0

3

1

0

0

Ford

53

40

68

57

57

91

142

110

96

62

47

53

3

10

10

2

8

Grendon/Springhill

20

9

14

14

12

23

60

36

34

11

21

10

3

2

0

0

0

Hatfield2

77

80

36

34

50

56

0

0

0

0

0

36

0

0

0

0

1

Hewell Grange3

40

17

32

20

15

23

31

24

24

13

15

16

1

1

1

1

1

Hollesley Bay

13

25

11

24

8

14

36

32

16

21

19

17

2

1

2

1

0

Kirkham

234

202

171

169

163

208

213

120

74

54

65

42

2

2

0

1

3

Kirklevington4

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

4

2

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

Latchmere House5

2

0

0

1

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leyhill

20

25

34

25

19

33

114

102

66

37

55

58

5

2

1

4

4

Moorland2

1

1

0

0

0

0

68

73

49

41

23

36

0

1

0

0

1

Morton Hall6

20

15

23

6

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

North Sea Camp

25

32

27

24

36

34

79

33

49

48

46

17

0

2

0

0

1

Norwich (Resettlement Unit)7

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

8

2

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

Standford Hill

35

36

43

29

37

83

89

39

58

38

44

46

3

7

0

2

6

Sudbury

81

75

63

69

81

68

75

77

76

78

55

23

0

2

2

0

2

Thorn Cross

168

135

147

110

135

152

130

90

105

82

68

24

0

0

0

0

0

Usk/Prescoed

7

13

19

14

5

8

35

19

9

9

8

6

0

0

0

0

0

Wealstun

48

70

72

105

79

101

144

74

28

46

32

1

0

0

0

0

0

1 Drake Hall changed role to Semi Open in 2001-02 from Open

2 Hatfield merged with Moorland in 2003-04

3 Hewell - change of name from Hewell Grange June 2008

4 Kirklevington changed role to Semi Open in 2001-02 from Category C

5 Latchmere House changed role to Semi Open in 2001-02 from Open

6 Morton Hall changed role to Semi Open in 2001-02 from Open

7 Norwich - Open Resettlement Unit

Notes:

1. Figures for prisoners unlawfully at large are unavailable centrally prior to April 2004.

2. The second row of each establishment shows the number of prisoners still unlawfully at large

Table 3: Breakdown of prisoners absconding from prisons in England and Wales between April 2004 to March 2009 showing main index offence

Main Index Offence

Askham Grange

Blantyre House

East Sutton Park

Ford

Grendon/Springhill

Hewell

Hollesley Bay

Kirkham

Kirklevington

Administer poison

Affray

2

1

5

Aggravated burglary

1

2

4

1

2

5

1

Arson

1

Arson with intent

Assault a police officer

3

1

Assault occasioning ABH

4

2

1

1

4

Assault with intent to cause ABH

1

Assault with intent to resist arrest

1

Assault with intent to rob

Assisting illegal immigrants

1

1

Attempt to commit rape

Attempt to commit theft

1

1

Attempt to pervert the course of justice

3

2

Attempted burglary

1

3

1

1

Attempted deception

1

Attempted murder

1

Attempted robbery

3

3

3

2

6

Being carried in a stolen vehicle

Blackmail

1

Breach of Bail

1

1

Breach of combination order

1

Breach of community service order

2

1

1

4

Breach of drug testing and treatment order

6

1

Breach of probation order

2

Breach of restraining order

Breach of supervision order

1

Breach of suspended sentence

3

1

1

2

6

Burglary

5

1

48

23

25

20

91

4

Burglary of a dwelling place

1

37

3

1

3

15

Burglary of a non- dwelling place

7

2

Causing an explosion or placing explosive

1

Common assault

5

1

Conspiracy to cause affray

Conspiracy to commit a kidnap

Conspiracy to commit burglary

2

1

Conspiracy to commit a robbery

1

3

Conspiracy to commit a theft

3

3

1

2

3

Conspiracy to defraud

5

2

Conspiracy to import drugs

1

Conspiracy to supply drugs

5

1

3

1

10

Conspiracy to riot

Contempt of court

Criminal damage

1

Customs evasion

1

Customs evasion (drugs related)

1

5

1

4

Customs evasion (not drugs related)

Death by reckless driving

2

3

2

1

Debts

1

Deception

10

1

2

1

Driving under the influence of drink/drugs

3

1

1

Driving whilst disqualified

19

4

4

6

16

Drunk

1

Escape

1

Escape lawful custody

2

Fail to surrender

Failure to provide specimen

1

False imprisonment

6

1

False instruments

1

Forgery

Fraud

1

4

1

GBH

2

1

Going equipped to cheat

Going equipped for stealing

1

Handling stolen goods

1

2

4

3

7

Holding warrant

2

5

1

4

Illegal immigrant/detainee

3

1

1

1

Import/export/drug

2

14

3

1

1

Inflict grievous bodily harm

1

4

2

4

5

5

Kidnapping

2

Libel

3

Make off without paying

Making threats to kill

1

1

Manslaughter

1

1

4

1

1

1

Murder

9

2

3

4

Obscene telephone calls

Other burglary offences

6

3

4

2

9

1

Other criminal offences

3

1

3

Other driving offences

Other fraud/deception/ financial offences

Other violence offences

Perjury

Possession of drugs

1

2

1

Possession of drugs with intent to supply

1

7

3

2

8

20

Possession of an offensive weapon

4

1

3

Possession of firearm with intent, endanger life

4

4

2

3

Rape

Receiving stolen goods

1

Reckless driving

8

1

2

6

Road traffic Act (No/Lic/lights/bald tyres etc)

Robbery

9

2

37

18

14

19

41

1

Sec 40 convictions during original sentence

1

1

2

3

1

Supplying drugs

11

13

2

3

3

14

2

Taking and driving away

7

2

2

9

Theft

1

20

3

5

2

26

Threatening/disorderly behaviour

1

1

Treason

1

Trespass

1

Trespass with intent

1

Vehicle interference

1

Violent disorder

1

Wounding with intent to inflict GBH

1

1

5

7

Wounding (inflicting GBH)

2

2

4

Recorded offence not available

2

1

1

3

Total

48

2

8

368

112

92

105

355

12

Main Index Offence

Leyhill

Moorland

North Sea Camp

Norwich

Standford Hill

Sudbury

Thorn Cross

Usk/ Prescoed

Wealstun

Administer poison

1

Affray

2

4

2

1

1

Aggravated burglary

2

4

1

4

5

3

4

Arson

2

1

1

3

1

1

3

Arson with intent

1

3

Assault a police officer

1

2

1

Assault occasioning ABH

4

5

2

3

2

8

3

Assault with intent to cause ABH

2

1

Assault with intent to resist arrest

Assault with intent to rob

1

1

3

Assisting illegal immigrants

2

Attempt to commit rape

1

Attempt to commit theft

1

1

2

1

Attempt to pervert the course of justice

1

1

Attempted burglary

1

1

1

1

1

Attempted deception

1

Attempted murder

2

1

1

1

Attempted robbery

6

8

1

3

16

20

1

3

Being carried in a stolen vehicle

1

Blackmail

1

2

1

Breach of Bail

1

Breach of combination order

1

1

Breach of community service order

1

2

1

Breach of drug testing and treatment order

1

2

1

1

1

Breach of probation order

1

2

Breach of restraining order

1

Breach of supervision order

1

7

1

Breach of suspended sentence

1

2

8

2

1

1

1

3

Burglary

81

61

56

4

45

76

94

11

42

Burglary of a dwelling place

13

2

7

10

5

10

4

Burglary of a non- dwelling place

1

1

2

1

Causing an explosion or placing explosive

1

Common assault

1

2

2

1

Conspiracy to cause affray

1

Conspiracy to commit a kidnap

1

Conspiracy to commit burglary

1

1

2

1

1

1

Conspiracy to commit a robbery

2

1

3

Conspiracy to commit a theft

6

2

3

3

3

2

1

1

Conspiracy to defraud

2

1

Conspiracy to import drugs

1

Conspiracy to supply drugs

1

1

3

2

5

2

1

1

Conspiracy to riot

1

Contempt of court

1

Criminal damage

1

1

2

Customs evasion

Customs evasion (drugs related)

2

1

2

Customs evasion (not drugs related)

1

Death by reckless driving

2

3

2

3

3

2

3

Debts

Deception

3

2

2

3

2

3

Driving under the influence of drink/drugs

1

2

1

Driving whilst disqualified

6

2

8

14

1

2

4

9

Drunk

1

1

Escape

2

Escape lawful custody

4

1

2

Fail to surrender

1

1

1

Failure to provide specimen

1

False imprisonment

1

3

1

False instruments

1

1

1

Forgery

1

Fraud

2

1

GBH

3

1

4

1

Going equipped to cheat

2

Going equipped for stealing

1

Handling stolen goods

6

1

2

3

1

1

4

Holding warrant

4

8

1

4

5

Illegal immigrant/detainee

Import/export/drug

4

1

2

4

Inflict grievous bodily harm

11

5

5

1

3

9

5

1

7

Kidnapping

1

2

1

Libel

Make off without paying

1

Making threats to kill

1

Manslaughter

2

1

2

3

2

1

Murder

11

5

5

15

1

3

Obscene telephone calls

1

Other burglary offences

5

2

1

5

5

1

3

4

Other criminal offences

1

1

Other driving offences

1

Other fraud/deception/ financial offences

1

1

Other violence offences

1

Perjury

1

Possession of drugs

4

2

2

2

1

3

Possession of drugs with intent to supply

11

13

5

10

15

20

3

8

Possession of an offensive weapon

1

2

1

2

1

1

Possession of firearm with intent, endanger life

6

1

4

4

8

1

1

Rape

4

1

1

Receiving stolen goods

1

2

1

Reckless driving

2

3

4

1

4

2

16

1

3

Road traffic Act ( No/Lic/lights/bald tyres etc)

1

Robbery

51

38

17

1

18

52

67

9

28

Sec 40 convictions during original sentence

2

1

2

1

1

4

2

Supplying drugs

9

14

6

5

19

12

1

9

Taking and driving away

3

1

3

3

2

25

3

Theft

14

9

13

20

10

8

1

7

Threatening/disorderly behaviour

2

Treason

2

Trespass

1

Trespass with intent

3

Vehicle interference

1

Violent disorder

1

2

4

Wounding with intent to inflict GBH

5

3

2

2

4

5

16

1

2

Wounding (inflicting GBH)

5

3

1

2

8

2

Recorded offence not available

1

2

1

Total

318

222

193

14

225

309

369

51

181

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.