HC Deb 07 January 1913 vol 46 cc990-1
38. Mr. WILKIE

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that in the Aberdeen police cells women prisoners, under arrest but unconvicted, are required to sleep on plank beds, and that in the same place women prisoners, although not allowed out of their cells for any purpose throughout the night, are under constant surveillance by male warders, these warders frequently making use of the spyhole in the door and also coining into the women's cells at frequent intervals during the night; and whether he will take steps to have women prisoners under such circumstances placed under the surveillance of female warders?


I am informed that wooden beds are as a rule provided for prisoners under detention in the Aberdeen police cells, but that in the cases to which my hon. Friend presumably refers the prisoners were allowed the use of blankets or rugs. It is not the case that they were under constant observation by male warders. A female attendant is in charge of the female block of cells, and all the cells are under the supervision of the male superintendent. In the course of the night to which the question seems to refer, the superintendent paid two visits of inspection to the cells, the female attendant being on duty close by on both occasions. Such visits, I understand, are in the ordinary routine; but I propose to make further inquiry into their necessity.