Official Statistics

Safety in custody statistics quarterly update to September 2013

Safety in custody statistics cover deaths, self-harm and assaults in prison custody in England and Wales. This publication updates statistics up to the end of September 2013. Supplementary tables, providing more in depth statistics on deaths, self-harm and assaults on a calendar year basis up to 2012 are also provided.

Documents

Guide to safety in custody

Safety in custody summary

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Safety in custody statistics: Deaths in prison custody, 1978 to 2012

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Self-harm in prison custody 2004 to 2012

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Assaults in prison custody 2002 to 2012

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Details

An increase in self-inflicted deaths contributed to a small increase in the overall number of deaths in prison custody in the 12 months to September 2013. Overall, the number of deaths in prison custody has remained between 193 and 198 in the last four years. Over the last 5 years the number of self-inflicted deaths has ranged between 56 and 63.

Sharp falls in female self-harm incidents have driven down the overall number of self-harm incidents over the last three years, despite incidence of male self-harm increasing. The number of incidents of self-harm by female prisoners has fallen by over 50% since the 12 months to September 2010 from 12,407 incidents to 5,977 incidents.

In contrast, incidents of male self-harm have seen year-on-year increases over the same period increasing from 14,314 incidents to 16,994 incidents. Despite these differences in trends, females still account for a disproportionate amount of self-harm in prison custody.

The number of incidents of recorded assaults (including fights) in prison custody has returned to a falling trend over the medium term; falling to 13,696 in the 12 months to September 2013 compared with 15,896 in September 2008. However, the falls occur amongst prisoners aged under 21 which have reduced by nearly 3,000 incidents since September 2008. In contrast assaults amongst adult prisoners (aged 21 and over) have increased by around 800 incidents over the same time period.

The number of assaults on staff has remained broadly flat at around 3,000 incidents per year for the last 5 years. However, the number of serious assaults on staff, at 328, has increased to the highest number recorded in recent years from an unusually low 250 in the previous year.

Pre-release list

Pre-release list for safety in custody statistics bulletin.

The bulletin is produced and handled by the ministry’s analytical professionals and production staff. Pre-release access of up to 24 hours is granted to the following persons:

Ministry of Justice

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Minister for Victims and the Courts; Permanent Secretary; Director General, Justice Policy Group; Deputy Director of Youth Justice Policy; Director of Sentencing and Rehabilitation; Director of Analytical Services; Director General of Finance and Corporate Services; Director General of Transforming Justice; Policy Manager Justice Policy Group; Youth Justice Policy Advisor; Programme Director: Youth Justice Analysis; and relevant special advisors and press officers.

National Offender Management Service (NOMS)

Director General of NOMS; Director, National Operational Services; Director, Public Sector Prisons; Head of NOMS Population Strategy; Head of Public Protection Casework Section (OMPPG); Head of Offender Management and Public Protection Unit (NOMS); Policy Lead, Reducing re-offending and Offender Health; Head of Planning and Analysis Group (PAG); Head of Equalities, Disabilities and Rights Group; Head of Policy and Performance (PPCS, PPMHG); Head of Statistics, Planning and Analysis Group; Head of Safer Custody and Litigation; Head of Safer Custody Casework; Head of Violence Management Project Team; Strategy Unit Project Manager for Sentencing Assessment

Home Office

Secretary of State, Home Office; Minister of State for Immigration; Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice; Home Office policy lead for re-offending; Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Special Advisor to Prime Minister Ministry of Justice Finances and Strategy, Public Services Group HM Treasury Deputy Private Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister.

Published 30 January 2014