HC Deb 19 March 1979 vol 964 cc403-5W
Mr. Stephen Ross

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the recent fire in the library at Parkhurst prison was caused by a fire bomb with timing mechanism; what is being done to try and prevent a recurrence; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

Arson is a possible cause of the fire in a library at Parkhurst

Aliens Act, and any other enactments, enforcement of which lies with the police, where he has power to charge or vary a fee, or where a fee is laid down in the statute.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

The information is as follows:

prison on 11 March 1979. The remains of what appears to have been an incendiary device were found after the fire, and have been removed by the police for forensic examination. As at other establishments, the staff at Parkhurst seek in their supervision of the activities and movements of inmates to deny them the materials and opportunities for committing arson, although there are obvious difficulties in this, and the fullest possible precautions against fire, made in liaison with the local Fire Brigade, are maintained at the prison. Any further practicable arrangements to attempt to prevent a recurrence of a fire such as that on 11 March will be taken once I have received the results of the examination, and considered that together with the governor's report of the incident.

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