Policin London

MQT on 2006-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2006
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Are you concerned about proposals to use police cells to hold prisoners and the effect that this may have on London's policing and the Met's resources?


Answer for Policin London

Answer for Policin London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am concerned that a record prison population is leading to London's prisoners being locked up in an overcrowded and overstretched prison system, and may lead to police cells once again being routinely used to hold prisoners.I am however pleased to say that the MPS have been working closely with the National Offender Management Service to assess the assistance that can be provided to cope with the current acute shortage of HM Prison Service accommodation. An agreement has been reached that separate police custody facilities that are not routinely used to house detainees, will be used if Operation Safeguard is invoked in the MPS. Officers working overtime would staff these facilities to ensure there is no abstraction from core duties. The MPS has already been accommodating sentenced and remanded prisoners overnight for several months, due to London prisons not having the capacity to accept further prisoners. This has happened at short notice and within the MPS's normal custody capacity. Operation Safeguard has the advantage of providing a more suitable procedure to house prisoners in MPS accommodation.