§ 35. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the case of William McCann, who was taken to and is now in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after having been stabbed in Peterhead Prison; and what investigation he has made into this breach of prison regulations.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gordon Campbell)
On 4th April William McCann and another 416 prisoner in Peterhead prison were found to be suffering from wounds. The police were called in immediately and have reported to the procurator fiscal, who has decided not to institute proceedings Both men have recovered and have returned to work.
§ Mr. Hughes
Is this a case of gang warfare? Did the authorities know of the difficulties between these prisoners before the affray and, if so, what steps did they take to avoid it? Is not it a fact that the unsatisfactory structure of our prisons makes this kind of thing possible? What steps is the Secretary of State taking to improve the structure so as to separate prisoners where there are known cases of gang antagonism?
§ Mr. Campbell
The governor is investigating the question of how these prisoners gained possession of the means to injure each other, and my right hon.. Friend is awaiting his report. The prisoners concerned were members of a group selected for special privileges, including the freedom to move in the prison hall without continuous supervision. The record of this prison is good and these incidents have been few.