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Prisons: Fires

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 293568, tabled on 2 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the trends in the number of fire events in prisons in each of the last five years.

Answered on

7 October 2019

We will never compromise on the safety of those in our care, and staff are trained to respond to emergency situations in a timely, appropriate manner. The Government is taking unprecedented action to improve safety in custody. We have invested significantly in increased staff numbers, recruiting an additional 4,366 (full time equivalent) prison officers between October 2016 and June 2019, surpassing our original target of 2,500. We will continue to recruit officers to ensure prisons are safe and decent.

The table below provides the numbers of all fires in prisons between 2016 – 2018. Data prior to 2016 was not collected centrally and, as such, no reliable data before that time exists. However, the figures below show a significant fall in the number of fires in 2018, which coincides with the implementation of smoke free prisons and our actions to improve safety in custody.

Year

Number of fires

Reduction as a percentage of previous year’s total

2014

Data not available

N/A

2015

Data not available

N/A

2016

2,314

N/A

2017

2,287

1.2%

2018

1,517

50.1%

Named day
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