HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 cc896-7W
John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Irish prisoners who died in Brixton during the last six years were on suicide watch; and whether in each case guidelines were followed; [65439]

(2) whether the relevant cell alarm system was in working order on each occurrence of a cell death in Brixton during the last five years; [65438]

(3) how many prisoners have died in HMP Brixton since 1995. [65442]

Hilary Benn

The tables detail the 14 self-inflicted deaths and three deaths by natural causes that have occurred at Brixton since 1995. Four of the 14 were Irish citizens and a further three of Irish extraction. One prisoner of Irish extraction was subject to intermittent observation and the investigation under way is reviewing the care he received.

Cell alarm systems are checked as a matter of routine, but there is no record available to show that alarms, in every cell where deaths occurred, were working at the time. Cell alarms checked, or their use noted, as part of an investigation into a death in custody, but only where it is considered relevant.

Issues about the use of a cell alarm were addressed in one investigation, with no evidence found to support claims made that an alarm was activated but not responded to.

Deaths at HMP Brixton: 1995–2002
Self-inflicted deaths
1995 0
1996 1
9197 2
1998 1
1999 4
2000 2
2001 2
20021 2
Total 14
Natural causes deaths 1995
1995 1
1996 0
1997 0
1998 0
1999 0
2000 1
2001 0
20021 0
Total 3
1As at 25 June 2002