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Prisons: Pepper Spray

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL3793, tabled on 8 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have been held in prisons where pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA) incapacitant spray has been issued, broken down by (1) ethnicity, (2) religion, and (3) disability status, since 1 April 2019.

Answered on

22 November 2021

PAVA is presently in 80 HMPPS prisons *, the below tables provide population figures across those 80 prisons firstly by ethnicity and secondly by religion. We are unable to provide this breakdown for disability as data is not available.

Note* The 80 prisons comprises 26 live sites which have issued to over 50% of their staff and the remainder have only issued to a small number of staff as part of an exceptional deployment.

Table 1: Prisoners held in prisons where pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA) incapacitant spray has been issued, by ethnicity, March 2019 - September 2021, in England and Wales

31-Mar-19

30-Sep-19

31-Mar-20

30-Sep-20

31-Mar-21

30-Sep-21

All

59,070

59,958

59,657

57,223

56,594

57,224

Asian / Asian British

4,599

4,642

4,635

4,464

4,534

4,709

Black / African / Caribbean / Black British

7,786

7,964

7,839

7,615

7,541

7,494

Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups

2,724

2,808

2,848

2,803

2,758

2,764

Other ethnic group

918

916

932

888

853

858

White

42,624

43,228

42,912

40,918

40,399

40,869

Not recorded

240

236

320

376

314

354

Not stated

179

164

171

159

195

176

Table 2: Prisoners held in prisons where pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA) incapacitant spray has been issued, by religion, March 2019 - September 2021, in England and Wales

31-Mar-19

30-Sep-19

31-Mar-20

30-Sep-20

31-Mar-21

30-Sep-21

All

59,070

59,958

59,657

57,223

56,594

57,224

Anglican

9,751

9,750

9,522

8,866

8,391

8,223

Free Church

505

535

547

559

539

531

Roman Catholic

10,380

10,453

10,386

9,873

9,547

9,723

Other Christian

7,741

7,828

7,584

7,302

7,350

7,570

Muslim

9,612

9,920

10,096

9,953

10,202

10,424

Hindu

263

271

271

237

247

256

Sikh

431

399

406

365

344

349

Buddhist

1,181

1,183

1,227

1,171

1,135

1,104

Jewish

363

406

406

395

384

383

Other religious groups

1,345

1,420

1,433

1,410

1,366

1,362

Other non-recognised

7

5

6

6

5

5

No religion

17,381

17,702

17,676

16,879

16,843

17,120

Not recorded

110

86

97

207

241

174

Data sources and quality
The figures in these tables have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Source: Prison NOMIS System

PQ HL3793 (Ministry of Justice; DASD-DES)