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Prisoner Escapes

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners serving sentences for (a) murder, (b) attempted murder, (c) rape and (d) attempted rape are currently unlawfully at large having escaped or absconded from prison. [Official Report, 14 January 2010, Vol. 503, c. 13-14MC.] (295849)

The following table shows that there is only one offender currently unlawfully at large who was serving a sentence for any of the four index offences named. Data prior to the periods shown in the table are not available centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Absconds (which are from open prisons) and escapes (from closed prisons) have been falling for some years and 2008-09 recorded the lowest number of absconds and escapes on record. Tracking down prisoners unlawfully at large who may be a danger to the public is taken very seriously by the police and 96 per cent. of absconded prisoners are rearrested and returned to custody.

Prisoners still unlawfully at large in October 2009 following an escape or abscond and broken down by specific index offences

Prisoners unlawfully at large with an index offence of:

Murder

Attempted murder

Rape

Attempted rape

Escapes since 1 April 1998

0

0

0

0

Absconds since 1 April 2004

1

0

0

0