HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 c1238W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when and for what reasons the special secure unit at HMP Belmarsh was redesignated a high secure unit; and what the principal differences in prison regime are. [59866]

Hilary Benn

The high security unit at Belmarsh is a four spur, 48 cell facility holding both 'high' and 'standard' risk category A prisoners. In the event of a category A prisoner being received at Belmarsh with an 'exceptional' risk classification, then one spur of the unit will become a special secure unit. When this situation arises, the facility operates as a special secure unit.

There are no principal differences in the regime offered to prisoners caused by change of designation. The main difference arising from the change of designation would be in respect of general security measures taken by staff.

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