HC Deb 14 December 1993 vol 234 c530W
Mrs. Roche

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) after what period of detention in a bodybelt a prisoner is entitled to a review of the situation;

(2) in which prisons bodybelts are allowed to be used;

(3) for what length of time prisoners are allowed to be detained in a bodybelt.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 14 December 1993: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about the conditions governing the use of body belts. Prison Standing Order 3E sets out the general condittions applying to the use of force, special accommodation and mechanical restraints, including body belts, in the management of violent prisoners. Body belts may be used in any prisons, as an exceptional measure. The use of the body belt must be monitored regularly and be removed as soon a there is no longer a risk of self injury or violence. An officer must observe the prisoner every 15 minutes. The Medical Officer must medically examine the prisoner as soon as possible after the restraint is applied and certify that there are. no clinical contra-indications. The Medical Officer must personally visit the prisoner twice in every 24 hours to review the position. The Governor in charge must either personally see the prisoner before ordering the use of the body belt or immediately after and must see the prisoner at least twice in every 24 hours. The Standing Order also provides that the Board of Visitors must be notified of any use of a body belt as soon as it is practicable and must approve in writing any continuation of its use for a period beyond 24 hours.

Mrs. Roche

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether bodybelts are used in police stations.

Mr. Charles Wardle

Bodybelts are not normally used in police stations.

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