HC Deb 21 July 1955 vol 544 cc536-7
7. Mr. W. Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with the security arrangements at Strangeways Prison, Manchester; if he will give an assurance that the staff is adequate for the proper discharge of their duties; and if he will make a statement.

Major Lloyd-George

After the escapes from Manchester Prison towards the close of last year the Prison Commissioners made a careful analysis of all the factors involved. Physical security was overhauled and put in order where required. The staff is still slightly short of its full complement, but this does not endanger security.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the Home Secretary aware that only a few weeks ago a recently-convicted prisoner committed suicide by hanging in Strangeways Gaol? I think that this is the second case in recent times, and when that fact—as I believe it to be—is added to the series of escapes, does it not indicate a very alarming situation in that prison?

Major Lloyd-George

I do not think that we should exaggerate the position here. There were two incidents last year, neither of which had any connection whatever with staff deficiency. Physical security measures were taken immediately after the incidents. The actual shortage of staff is only four, which I do not think can be regarded as very serious.

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