Bill Esterson MP's concern over shock figures showing Maghull's

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was deeply concerned that Maghull's Kennet prison has suffered the highest percentage of prison officer staff cuts in the North West.

Kennet has seen a reduction of 49% of prison officers from since the Tories and Lib Dems formed a government in 2010.

Howard League for Penal Reform figures released this week show that in September 2010 Kennet had 136 prison officers, but by September 2013 that number had been reduced to just 70. 

Bill said he was concerned for the safety of the remaining staff, for the prisoners themselves and for the public.

Bill said: "The Prison Officers' Association has been raising concerns for a couple of years now about staff levels in our prisons, but these latest figures raise some very serious concerns about safety in our prisons.

"For Kennet to lose nearly 50% of its prison officer staff in just three years highlights the strain that our prisons are facing because of this endless Tory-Lib Dem assault on public services. We have seen it with cuts to our 999 emergency services.

"What is being sacrificed during this ideological assault is safety.

"An array of experts, from governors, inspectors and prison officers themselves are warning David Cameron and Nick Clegg about the dangers of these cuts and they are going so far as to say our prison service is at breaking point.

"That is manifesting itself in a shocking rise in self-harm among our prison population and the number of violent incidents.

"The Tories and Lib Dems must listen to the experts before they push our prison service beyond breaking point and irreparable damage is done and tragedy strikes."

Bill said he would be contacting the authorities at Kennet to find out what impact the huge staffing cuts are having on the service.

Bill said: "I will be contacting the governor of HMP Kennet to find out just how the service here in Maghull is coping with this level of cuts.

"This prison has seen the largest percentage reduction in staffing in the region and there must have been an impact on the day to day running. It will also have a direct impact on Kennet's prison rating. I intend to find out what that impact is.

"I will also be asking the Justice Secretary what impact analysis his department has made on the prison service given the huge cuts his government is imposing on our prison service.

"The safety of everyone in my constituency is my primary concern, and that includes the workers and inmates at Kennet."

 
 

Prison officer numbers in the North West region

 

Prison

Prison officers

% change

Sep-10

Sep-13

Altcourse

362

296

-18%

Buckley Hall

102

80

-22%

Forest Bank

310

204

-34%

Garth

276

180

-35%

Haverigg

140

80

-43%

Hindley

260

180

-31%

Kennet

136

70

-49%

Kirkham

87

60

-31%

Lancaster Castle

83

0

CLOSED

Lancaster Farms

216

140

-35%

Liverpool

366

240

-34%

Manchester

503

380

-24%

Preston

261

180

-31%

Risley

283

220

-22%

Styal

184

120

-35%

Thorn Cross

100

60

-40%

Wymott

268

200

-25%

TOTAL

3,937

2,690

-32%

 

 

 

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