HC Deb 20 July 1987 vol 120 cc57-8W
Mr. Cox

s asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a breakdown by age of the numbers of (a) men and (b) women held in police cells on 3 July; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten

On 3 July there were 511 male and 109 female prisoners held in police cells in England and Wales. Information on their ages is not available centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate expense.

Mr. Loyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Merseyside as to what steps he intends to take to deal with overcrowding in detention cells in the Bridewells police station and as to the latest information for the extent of the overcrowding;

(2) what has been the effect of limiting the number of detained prisoners at Risley remand centre on the overcrowding of detention cells in the Bridewells police station, Merseyside.

Mr. John Patten

I am informed that on 16 July 37 prisoners were held in the Bridewells police station. Merseyside police provide temporary accommodation for prisoners already in their charge when Risley remand centre cannot accept them due to overcrowding. Risley is currently holding over 800 male and 130 female prisoners.

The police provide the best conditions that they can under these circumstances but we are well aware that facilities may leave much to be desired. The measures which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 16 July are designed to alleviate the present situation nationally. In the particular case of Merseyside, measures in hand to provide facilities for remand prisoners at Liverpool and Preson prisons should provide the necessary relief in the medium and longer term.

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