§ 21. Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the 15 prisons in England and Wales at which dogs have been introduced: and how many additional prison officers are being trained as dog-handlers.
§ Mr. Taverne
I will with permission circulate a list in the OFFICIAL REPORT. A total of 190 officers are to be trained as dog-handlers.
§ Mrs. Short
Would not my hon. and learned Friend agree, however, that this could interfere with the delicate relationship which exists between inmates and prison officers in the work of rehabilitation? Would not he agree that it would be far better to reply on electronic and mechanical devices to maintain security in prisons, rather than to introduce fierce dogs?
§ Mr. Taverne
It obviously would interfere with the relationship if dogs were in any way involved in the day-to-day control of prisoners, but this is not so. Under the present system, a prisoner will come up against a dog only if he is attempting to escape. The use of dogs enables fewer staff to be employed on custodial duties, and this means that more staff are free for other work, and can, therefore, decidate themselves to improving relations with the prisoners.
§ The following is the list of prisons at which dogs are now used:
|Holloway (limited use at night).||Wakefield.|
§ In addition it is at present planned to introduce dogs at the following further eight prisons:
|Canterbury.||Coldingley (when opened).|