HC Deb 12 January 1978 vol 941 c1839
4. Mr. Townsend

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what new and improved plans he proposes to protect prison officers in Northern Ireland on and off duty.

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. J. D. Concannon)

Comprehensive procedures and instructions have been drawn up to ensure the safety and protection of members of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, both at home and at work. It would not be in the public interest to divulge such arrangements, but the safety and protection of such individuals is a matter of very considerable concern to the Government.

Mr. Townsend

Does the Minister appreciate that Northern Ireland's 1,500 prison officers still regard themselves as being very much at risk, and can he assure the House that neither ingenuity nor money will be spared to give them the best possible protection?

Mr. Concannon

I meet representatives of the Prison Officers' Association very often, and we discuss all such matters. I can give the hon. Gentleman the assurance for which he has asked.

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