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Prisons: Fires

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 293575, tabled on 2 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of fire events in prisons in each of the last five years.

Answered on

8 October 2019

The cost of fires in public sector prisons from 2016 - 2019 is shown below. Information for previous years is unavailable due to a change in reporting system.

Year

Cost

2016

£89,853

2017

£593,646

2018

£450,936

2019

£489,639

These figures comprise the total cost of Respiratory Protective Equipment used in such scenarios, refurbishments, as well as any other miscellaneous costs relating to fire fines.

The costs have been collated from the central HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) fire and investigation reporting tool and are only available for the public sector prison estate. Costings for privately managed prison (PMP) are not collected by HMPPS..

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. This Government is taking unprecedented action to improve safety in custody. This includes recruiting an additional 4,366 (full time equivalent) prison officers between October 2016 and June 2019, surpassing our original target of 2,500. We are also investing an extra £70 million to improve safety, security and decency.