asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether it is proposed to seek further to continue those provisions of the Imprisonment (Temporary Provisions) Act 1980 which will otherwise lapse on 28th February.
No. The national industrial action by the Prison Officers' Association was initially suspended on 19th January and this suspension was confirmed by a special delegate conference of the Prison Officers' Association on 11th February. The suspension has allowed the emergency use of Frankland prison and Rollestone camp to be ended. By the end of this week, it should no longer be necessary to use police cells instead of prison accommodation. Accordingly my right honourable friend does not at this stage think it necessary to seek the further renewal of those powers which would otherwise lapse on 28th February. The performance of the police and servicemen who have helped with the care and custody of prisoners has been outstanding and we should like to pay tribute to the vital part they have played in maintaining the criminal justice system. My right honourable friend is grateful too for the understanding shown by the courts in this difficult situation. Detailed negotiations with the Prison Officers' Association on the establishment of a new duty system are proceeding.