HC Deb 07 February 1963 vol 671 cc641-2
5. Sir H. Studholme

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the cost arising from escapes from Dartmoor Prison over the last ten years; and how much of this cost has fallen upon Devon County Council.

Mr. Brooke

I regret that the information which my hon. Friend desires is not available, but I am informed that a rough estimate shows that additional police expenditure attributable to this cause may have amounted to between £4,000 and £5,000 a year in recent years.

Sir H. Studholme

Will my right hon. Friend consider relieving the county of any additional expense on this count in view of the fact that prisoners are drawn from all over England and when they are out in working parties they have a greater opportunity to escape than is the case with most other prisons?

Mr. Brooke

I relieve the county of 50 per cent. of the cost, because that is covered by the Exchequer grant. Some counties have more prisons and borstals than does Devonshire—although I agree that escapes from Dartmoor often receive greater publicity. I do not think that it would be possible to reach any financial accommodation on these lines. All I can say is that the number of escapes from Dartmoor in 1962 was only half the 1961 number—although I do not claim any personal credit for that.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Does not Devonshire County Council gain from the fact that there is an influx of tourists to see this place?