HC Deb 10 May 1976 vol 911 cc78-9W
Mr. Douglas-Mann

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether an officer at Pentonville Prison who, on 28th April 1976 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., refused to divulge any information to a person properly inquiring on behalf of one Abdul-Rahman, who had been arrested and remanded, was acting in accordance with the policy of his Department;

(2) whether he will issue a circular to the prison authorities giving instructions as to the information to be given to relatives and others inquiring on behalf of people who have been arrested and remanded in custody so as to ensure that needless anxiety and delay in arranging for bail, sureties and legal representation is not caused by lack of information as to the prisoner's whereabouts.

Mr. John

The policy of the Department is to have regard to the privacy of individuals in prison custody, but we regret that an error of judgment was made on the occasion to which my hon. Friend refers and offer our apologies for this. Officers at establishments holding unconvicted prisoners are in general well aware of the need to facilitate arrangements for hail, sureties and legal representation, and we are not at present convinced that there is any need to issue fresh instructions dealing with these matters.

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