HC Deb 16 January 1995 vol 252 c337W
Mr. Parry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many attempted suicide cases took place in Her Majesty's prisons in the north west over the last two years; and how many attempts were successful.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

[holding answer 12 January 1995]: Responsibility for this matter 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 Mr. Robert Parry, dated 16 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of attempted and actual suicide cases in prisons in the north west. During the two years to 31 December 1994, in prison in the north west there were 210 recorded cases where prisoners had harmed themselves. Some of these may have been attempts at suicide but self harm does not always indicate a suicide attempt. Sadly 12 cases of self harm resulted in the deaths of the prisoners. Suicide prevention is taken very seriously by the Service. A new training package "Caring for the Suicidal in Custody" was introduced for all staff in 1994. This provides support to those staff involved in identifying and caring for prisoners who are at risk of suicide. In many establishments the Samaritans and a group of volunteer specially-trained prisoners work closely alongside staff in the care of prisoners at risk. We shall continue to do all we can to reduce deaths by suicide in custody.

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