Skip to main content

Prison Officers: Cameras

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 205268, tabled on 4 January 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect on health and safety conditions at HMP Grendon of the decision by HMPPS not to require at least two staff per work area to be issued with body-worn video cameras; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

21 January 2019

HMP Grendon is dedicated to providing all prisoners accredited therapy in one of five democratic therapeutic communities. HMP Grendon has a low level of violence and assaults. Theuse of Body Worn Video Cameras was considered carefully and there was belief that this may have a negative impact on therapeutic work that takes place.

Body worn video cameras were introduced alongside a range of other measures to improve safety. The cameras are intended to support staff interpersonal skills and provide evidential information if an incident occurs. They are not mandatory, it is for each Governor to make an assessment of how they are deployed.

Whilst PSI 14/2017 does not specify how many cameras should be on each residential unit, an instruction was given from HMPPS Headquarters requesting that two staff in each residential units during the hours of unlock wearing BWVC. It is for each prison to consider and determine how they satisfy this instruction whilst taking into account information such as levels of violence and how effectively safety is being managed. In the case of HMP Grendon it is dedicated to providing accredited interventions in therapeutic communities, and promoting rehabilitation and safety. The assessment on level of camera requirement is therefore based on this.