HC Deb 18 March 1970 vol 798 cc394-5
45. Earl of Dalkeith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the present practice with regard to photographing persons detained in Her Majesty's Prisons in Scotland immediately prior to their release, for record purposes; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Buchan

There is no procedure whereby prisoners are photographed immediately before release. The Scottish Criminal Record Office is provided with photographs of convicted prisoners in certain defined categories shortly after their admission on sentence. The photograph is scrutinised at two-yearly intervals or when the person's appearance has changed, for example, by the growth or removal of a beard, and if necessary a fresh photograph is taken.

Earl of Dalkeith

Would it not be a good idea for the Government to introduce a procedure whereby photographs are taken of prisoners immediately before their release, so that if a prisoner repeats an offence or commits another, there would be some useful record to go by?

Mr. Buchan

Yes, but we check whether any kind of change has occurred, and if the man had drastically altered in appearance that would be taken care of and a photograph would be taken.