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Prisoners: Offensive Weapons

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 33892, tabled on 15 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the attack on a prison officer at HMP Swansea on 12 June 2021, what assessment he has made of the effect on prison safety of allowing prisoners access to razor blades.

Answered on

20 July 2021

Violence against our hard-working prison officers is unacceptable and will never be tolerated.

A taskforce with a remit to undertake a review of the management of razors and ceramics across HMPPS has now restarted following a pause due to the impact of COVID-19.

Prior to the pandemic we saw a continued decrease in assaults in prisons, and in the 12 months to December 2020, assaults were down 34%.

We work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to bring the perpetrators to justice. We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and providing prison officers with the right support, training and tools such as PAVA pepper spray and body-worn cameras to empower them to do their jobs safely.

We are also spending £100 million to bolster prison security, clamping down on the weapons, drugs and mobile phones that fuel violence and crime behind bars.

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