Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|7 Jun 2018, 1:24 p.m.||Prison Officers: Protective Clothing||David Hanson|
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his policy is on prison officers wearing (a) smoke hoods and (b) other respiratory protective equipment when attending an incident in a cell involving the use of a psychoactive substance.
Answer (Rory Stewart)
Smoke Hoods are designed explicitly for the purpose of protecting prison officers from the harmful effects of fire and smoke gasses when tackling cell fire incidents. The set is limited to short-duration cell fire response operations and is not designed and should not therefore be used for any other purpose, such as to protect from psychoactive substances. All prison officers are trained in its use including annual refresher training.
Prison officers are trained to visually inspect cells via the cell door’s observation window to assess the condition of the cell and the behaviour and position of its occupant(s) prior to entry. Procedures are in place to defer entry and to take other measures if there is evidence of the potential for noxious fumes or smoke to be present other than where there is an apparent immediate risk to life. Respiratory protective equipmentis not mandated for all entry into cells as the vast majority of entries into cells present no significant respiratory risk.