Safety & order

Prisons need to be and feel safe for both staff and prisoners. Violent incidents are the most obvious issue, but this is also about wider culture and atmosphere of the prison and the support it provides to vulnerable prisoners.

Audits and inspections are reported on a 4-point scale, from 1 (lowest rating) to 4 (highest rating). HMIP inspections are up to date as of September 2017. Other measures have data for financial years up to March 2017, and where available, additional notes on the first half of 2017/18.

Visit prisons and probation statistics for data sources and more details.


Prisoner on prisoner assaults per 1,000 prisoners

Assaults in prison custody cover a wide range of violent incidents including fights between prisoners.

From time to time, events in prison custody and developments within and outside the Ministry of Justice have changed the way safety in prisons is viewed and managed. Some have resulted in changes to the way offenders are managed, others have affected the way statistics are collected and reported.

In the first half of financial year 2017-18 (Apr - Sep '17) there were 10,800 prisoner on prisoner assault incidents.

Prisoner on prisoner assaults per 1,000 prisoners detail

YearPrisoner on prisoner assaults per 1,000 prisoners
2016-17227
2015-16195
2014-15152
2013-14138
2012-13130
2011-12144
2010-11134
2009-10142
2008-09153
2007-08154
2006-07144
2005-06146
2004-05131
2003-04123

Assaults on staff per 1,000 prisoners

Assaults in prison custody cover a wide range of violent incidents including attacks on staff.

From time to time, events in prison custody and developments within and outside Ministry of Justice have changed the way safety in prisons is viewed and managed. Some have resulted in changes to the way offenders are managed, others have affected the way statistics are collected and reported.

In the first half of financial year 2017-18 (Apr - Sep '17) there were 4,236 assault on staff incidents.

Assaults on staff per 1,000 prisoners detail

YearAssaults on staff per 1,000 prisoners
2016-1784
2015-1663
2014-1546
2013-1440
2012-1335
2011-1236
2010-1134
2009-1036
2008-0939
2007-0840
2006-0743
2005-0645
2004-0542
2003-0438

MQPL safety audit

The MQPL survey of prisoners' perceptions is a validated way of gauging the quality of Decency and Safety, which are vital business aims but difficult to define and measure by other means.

Questionnaire scores are made more meaningful by comparing them to what might typically be expected from prisons of a similar type, but the comparison should not be judged at face value without reference to the specific context of the prison in question.

MQPL safety audit detail

MQPL safety auditCount
Rating 46
Rating 369
Rating 232
Rating 110

HMIP safety inspection

An independent assessment by HMIP of the level to which prisoners, even the most vulnerable, are held safely.

HMIP safety inspection detail

HMIP safety inspectionCount
Rating 427
Rating 339
Rating 235
Rating 119

Safer custody audit

Prisons work to reduce the risks of self-harm and suicide through a whole-prison approach. Prisoners who are at risk of self-harm or suicide are identified at an early stage, and a care and support plan is drawn up, implemented and monitored.

This is an internal audit to assess, on a four point scale, how well this work is being carried out within each prison.

Safer custody audit detail

Safer custody auditCount
Rating 467
Rating 340
Rating 210
Rating 11

Self inflicted deaths

The number of self inflicted deaths in prisons.

In the first half of financial year 2017-18 (Apr - Sep '17) there were 27 self inflicted deaths. Deaths are sometimes re-classified following further investigation, so please consider this a provisional figure.

Self inflicted deaths detail

YearSelf inflicted deaths
2016-17114
2015-16102
2014-1579
2013-1490
2012-1352
2011-1267
2010-1154
2009-1059
2008-0964
2007-0884
2006-0772
2005-0674
2004-0587
2003-0494
2002-03106
2001-0275
2000-0177
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