§ Mr. Hume
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what were the total numbers of strip searches of women prisoners in Northern Ireland in each of the months of February and March;
(2) how many female inmates were subjected to strip searches during each of the months of February and March; and how many times each prisoner was searched.
§ Mr. Scott
Strip searches are a necessary part of the maintenance of prison security. The procedures used in Northern Ireland are the same as those which have been used for many years in comparable prisons in Great Britain and elsewhere. The need for and frequency of searches are kept under close review and I am satisfied that the level in the first three months of 1985 was the necessary minimum.