HC Deb 03 March 2000 vol 345 c442W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times in each(a) women's and (b) men's prison a prisoner has been strip-searched after a visit by an hon. Member since 1 January. [111968]

Mr. Boateng

Prisons are not required to maintain statistics of the number of strip searches carried out, nor records of visits by hon. Members to prisoners. I am, however, aware that a female prisoner at Highpoint prison was strip searched following a visit by her Member of Parliament on 3 February.

As I advised the hon. Member during the debate he raised on Tuesday 29 February, this strip search was purely a random search. All prisons are required to carry out random searches of prisoners on completion of visits; Highpoint prison has a set level of 10 per cent. for such random searches. Category A prisoners will always be strip searched following any visit in open conditions.