Tory austerity has unleashed an unprecedented wave of violence throughout the prison system
Richard Burgon MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, responding to the latest Safety in Custody figures which show that annual assault incidents reached a record high in the 12 months to March 2019 said:
“Tory austerity has unleashed an unprecedented wave of violence throughout the prison system. Violence has yet again risen to record highs – a shocking indictment of the government’s failure to prioritise the safety of staff, inmates and the wider public.
“The new Justice Secretary needs to move beyond the empty promises of his predecessors and finally get a grip of this prisons crisis. He should start by setting out an emergency plan with substantial new funds to make our prisons safe.”
Notes to editors
- Safety in custody quarterly: update to March 2019 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/safety-in-custody-quarterly-update-to-march-2019
- There was a record high of 34,425 assault incidents in the 12 months to March 2019, up 11% from the previous year.
- There was a record high of 10,311 assaults on staff in the 12 months to March 2019, up 15% from the previous year.
- There was a record high of 57,968 self-harm incidents in the 12 months to March 2019, up 24% from the previous year.
- 14% of prisons were rated as having performance of serious concern, the highest proportion since ratings began. MoJ, Annual Prison Performance Ratings 2018/19 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/820618/annual-prison-performance-ratings-2018-19-bulletin.pdf
- Self-harm and assaults have more than doubled since 2010, and assaults on staff have trebled