HM Prison Service prisoners in MPS cells

MQT on 2007-01-30
Session date: 
January 30, 2007
Question By: 
Dee Doocey
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How many HM Prison Service prisoners have been held in Metrpolitan Police Service custody cells in each financial year since 2000? What has been the cost of providing this service in each of the financial years? How much of this money has been recovered from central government in each of the above financial years?


Answer for HM Prison Service prisoners in MPS cells

Answer for HM Prison Service prisoners in MPS cells

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Between April 2005 and March 2006 a total of 289 HM Prison Service prisoners were held in MPS custody suites. Since April 2006 (up to 20 January 2007) the MPS has held a total of 1,091 HM Prison Service prisoners in MPS custody suites. Figures before that time were not collated centrally and are therefore not available.HM Prison Service prisoners may be held in MPS custody suites under two different policies. The first policy is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Police/Prison Service Overnight Accommodation Protocol, known as 'lockouts'. The second policy is the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and ACPO 'Operation Safeguard': The Use of Police Cells to Accommodate Prison Service Prisoners Operation Protocol. Within the first case, the individual prisoners are generally accommodated within existing custody suites and no additional staff are required. No costs in relation to staffing are therefore applicable. Each detainee is treated in the same way as any other prisoner and therefore may see a doctor if needed, be provided with meals and be permitted use of a telephone, for example. However, there is no current means of disaggregating these costs from those associated with other prisoners. Under this protocol the MPS are able claim back £55 per night or £55 per 12 hour period over weekends and bank holidays. Costs are also re-claimed for examinations/treatment by a police surgeon (FME). Under this protocol the MPS is able to claim for additional staff who are solely and directly used to address the needs of Lockout prisoners.In the second case, detainees are held in cells set aside for that purpose. The costs to the MPS arise from staffing the custody facility with officers on overtime. All costs are recovered from the Prison Service and the invoiced total for March 2005 to October 2006 was £68,735.42 although this does include some prisoners from the first category. Since October 2006, Operation Safeguard has been activated and is currently in place within the MPS. As this is an on-going operation, the data is still being collated on a daily basis and will be available in the future.Since the start of Operation Safeguard in October 2006 a larger number of prisoners have been housed. The cost recovery framework allows the MPS to claim back associated costs from the prison service, including all overtime incurred by officers. NOMS have agreed that costs can be recovered for these Lockouts under the Operation Safeguard cost recovery framework. Therefore cost recovery for the 781 prisoners held in MPS custody suites between 23 November 2006 and 20 January 2007 can be claimed under this framework. The MPS Finance Services Department is currently in the process of collating details for this claim to submit to NOMS and therefore no figures are yet available.