HC Deb 20 July 1987 vol 120 c56W
Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details on a monthly basis of the number of body searches, cell searches and cell changes and strip searches carried out on each of the category A prisoners being held at Her Majesty's prison, Durham, for May and June of 1987.

Mr. John Patten

Records are not kept of the occasions when rub-down searching or "frisking" is carried out in prisons. Such searching is a routine security measure in prison establishments as it is in other circumstances — for example, at airports.

For reasons which the hon. Member will understand, it is not the practice to disclose detailed information about security arrangements such as that requested about the frequency of cell searches and cell changes.

Comprehensive records of strip searches are available only in respect of category A women prisoners, of whom there were three in Durham prison during May and June. One of these prisoners was subject to a strip search on three occasions, and another on five occasions, in each month; and the third on seven occasions in May and on two occasions in June.

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