HC Deb 21 April 2004 vol 420 cc525-6W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many authorisations have been made under the Prisons (Alcohol Testing) Act 1997; and how many tests have been carried out. [163335]

Paul Goggins

Section 16B of the Prisons Act 1952, (which was inserted by the Prisons (Alcohol Testing) Act 1997) empowers a prison officer, in accordance with prison rules, to request a prisoner to provide a breath sample for the purpose of alcohol testing, in those prisons in which the Governor has authorised such action.

Amendments are to be made to prison rules shortly to provide appropriate disciplinary offences. No authorisations have yet been made under section 16B, and therefore no tests under this power have been carried out.

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