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Prison Officers: Greater London

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 143597, tabled on 21 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has made a recent assessment of the risks faced by prison officers in London; and what steps he is taking to improve the safety of prison officers.

Answered on

29 March 2022

Violence against our dedicated staff will never be tolerated. We work closely with the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that prisoners who are violent towards staff will face the full consequences of their actions. We continue to support the effective use of the current 6,000 Body Worn Video Cameras across the estate, enabling every operational band 3-5 officer on duty to carry a camera, gathering vital evidence to enable prosecutions, and improve safety outcomes.

Continuous analysis is being undertaken to look at staff assaults within prison, and we are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and providing prison officers with the right support, training, and tools to empower them to do their jobs. As London prisons ease restrictions, they will be focusing on analysing regime and violence data to improve our understanding of the links between the two, using the opportunity we have in re-opening our regimes to engage in conflict resolution and restorative justice work. Safety is a key priority area for prisons, and we have committed to invest £34m of ring-fenced investment over the next three years to improve key safety outcomes by making prisons safer for both prisoners and staff. Further, we are continuing to deliver on our £100 million security investment programme with X-ray body scanners being installed in prisons across the estate along with the establishment and expansion of our Serious Organised Crime unit, and Crime in Prisons taskforce.