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The £16.2m taxi and hotel bill to send prison staff around the country to plug gaps


pellinore

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Posted (edited)

Our present govt has run down every public service, privatised where they can get away with it, and stolen taxpayers money to give to private shareholders. The NHS, schools, courts, water companies, the asylum system, even the national emergency of Covid was seen as a bonanza to grab money. Now it is emerging that the prison service is in dire straits. So far, they have been able to blame the EU, then it was Covid, then Ukraine, now it is the poor on benefits. They have given us disaster after disaster, the worst of which was Brexit, but what they won't give us is a GE to get rid of them.

The government is spending millions of pounds taxiing prison officers around the UK and putting them up in hotels in an attempt to deal with the desperate staffing crisis in jails, The Independent has learnt.

Officers are being sent hundreds of miles away from home, for just a few days or weeks at a time, to “paper over the cracks” where prisons are struggling due to chronic difficulties with hiring and retaining staff.

The government has now admitted spending £16.2m on accommodation costs, transport and extra pay in 2023, costing the taxpayer almost £50,000 per officer, more than the annual salary of a senior recruit.

Revealed: The £16.2m taxi and hotel bill to send prison staff around the country to plug gaps | The Independent

Edited by pellinore
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6 hours ago, pellinore said:

Our present govt has run down every public service, privatised where they can get away with it, and stolen taxpayers money to give to private shareholders. The NHS, schools, courts, water companies, the asylum system, even the national emergency of Covid was seen as a bonanza to grab money. Now it is emerging that the prison service is in dire straits. So far, they have been able to blame the EU, then it was Covid, then Ukraine, now it is the poor on benefits. They have given us disaster after disaster, the worst of which was Brexit, but what they won't give us is a GE to get rid of them.

The government is spending millions of pounds taxiing prison officers around the UK and putting them up in hotels in an attempt to deal with the desperate staffing crisis in jails, The Independent has learnt.

Officers are being sent hundreds of miles away from home, for just a few days or weeks at a time, to “paper over the cracks” where prisons are struggling due to chronic difficulties with hiring and retaining staff.

The government has now admitted spending £16.2m on accommodation costs, transport and extra pay in 2023, costing the taxpayer almost £50,000 per officer, more than the annual salary of a senior recruit.

Revealed: The £16.2m taxi and hotel bill to send prison staff around the country to plug gaps | The Independent

I agree, get Reform in ASAP

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1 hour ago, OpenMindedSceptic said:

I agree, get Reform in ASAP

I have always voted Tory, but not the last few GEs. The problem with Reform is that they don't have any actual policies; they exist just to push the Tories further right.

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8 hours ago, pellinore said:

Our present govt has run down every public service, privatised where they can get away with it, and stolen taxpayers money to give to private shareholders. The NHS, schools, courts, water companies, the asylum system, even the national emergency of Covid was seen as a bonanza to grab money. Now it is emerging that the prison service is in dire straits. So far, they have been able to blame the EU, then it was Covid, then Ukraine, now it is the poor on benefits. They have given us disaster after disaster, the worst of which was Brexit, but what they won't give us is a GE to get rid of them.

The government is spending millions of pounds taxiing prison officers around the UK and putting them up in hotels in an attempt to deal with the desperate staffing crisis in jails, The Independent has learnt.

Officers are being sent hundreds of miles away from home, for just a few days or weeks at a time, to “paper over the cracks” where prisons are struggling due to chronic difficulties with hiring and retaining staff.

The government has now admitted spending £16.2m on accommodation costs, transport and extra pay in 2023, costing the taxpayer almost £50,000 per officer, more than the annual salary of a senior recruit.

Revealed: The £16.2m taxi and hotel bill to send prison staff around the country to plug gaps | The Independent

So you have joined Reform then?

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1 hour ago, pellinore said:

I have always voted Tory, but not the last few GEs. The problem with Reform is that they don't have any actual policies; they exist just to push the Tories further right.

Have you hell, you have not one Conservative value.

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8 minutes ago, Duke Wellington said:

Have you hell, you have not one Conservative value.

From Tory Party HQ:

The Conservative Party has always stood for personal liberty, democracy and the rule of law. 

Our individual freedoms and right to social justice are respected and upheld.

Our right to free enterprise and industry is protected and encouraged.

Our dignified institutions and traditions are safeguarded and carefully maintained.

I align with these values. Which are not held by the present govt. They are just a collection of UKIPers, who have no respect for the rule of law, decency or democracy. 

 

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11 minutes ago, pellinore said:

From Tory Party HQ:

The Conservative Party has always stood for personal liberty, democracy and the rule of law. 

Our individual freedoms and right to social justice are respected and upheld.

Our right to free enterprise and industry is protected and encouraged.

Our dignified institutions and traditions are safeguarded and carefully maintained.

I align with these values. Which are not held by the present govt. They are just a collection of UKIPers, who have no respect for the rule of law, decency or democracy. 

 

Social justice along with safeguarding and maintaining institutions does not mean how a socialist would interpret it.

You aren`t for free enterprise, a good test of that is how much someone agrees or disagrees with the Singapore economic model. Its about privatisation and not supporting businesses which should not exist. Its about collecting world beating organisations rather than those who cannot compete unless its competitors are given a competition handicap, or the tax payer funding it.

Individual freedom is about removing those laws which try to control people for the purpose of forcing them to believe in flawed ideologies. Its about removing the redistribution of their wealth and assets. Its about them having the right to free speech. Most Conservatives hold Christian and family values. 

The UKIP crew were primarily those who wanted out of the EU and immigration stopping. Same for the Brexit Party, same for Reform, same for the BNP, and Britain First. Although under Farage they realised a couple of those parties were riddled with disasters so banned them. With Reform Farage has gone full blown National Conservatism while trying to prevent it being extreme.

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3 hours ago, pellinore said:

I have always voted Tory, but not the last few GEs. The problem with Reform is that they don't have any actual policies; they exist just to push the Tories further right.

Liebour has fewer policies than Reform.

Nobody can name a single policy that Weird Starmer standards for other than "we will do a review of that" - well you've sat in opposition for long enough to see what's happening, you claim to be speaking to people on the doorsteps, you have a team to help... and not one single policy  

Vote Reform. 

They are clear, concise, have a handle on what's really happening and have policies.

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16 hours ago, pellinore said:

The government has now admitted spending £16.2m on accommodation costs, transport and extra pay in 2023, costing the taxpayer almost £50,000 per officer, more than the annual salary of a senior recruit.

I agree this seems a strange way to spend public money.  But when we read the guts of the article we find:

An average of more than 350 officers a month were deployed in 2023 on what is termed “detached duty”.

Which, out of around 22,200 Prison Officers, is about 1.5%.  So another way to spin this story would be "98.5% of Prison Officers stay at one prison" but that wouldn't raise many eyebrows.

One aspect of the wider story that deserves greater attention is the terrible retention rates: 25% of new recruits quit in the first year, 45% within three.  Some sources blame poor salaries, others suggest that younger staff can't bear being parted from their phones for an entire eight-hour shift.  While both these may be true, there must be more: are our prisons really so hideous, overcrowded and understaffed that Officers cannot stand the thought of heading into work?  On the day Daniel Khalife escaped from Wandsworth Nick eighty Prison Officers - 40% - didn't show up for work... and that wasn't considered exceptional!

The UK spends approx. £50,000 per prisoner per year keeping an average 90,000 people locked up; about £6 billion in total.*  Assuming we can't just chuck more money at the problem - build more jails, pay staff more, recruit more - I can't help but wonder whether there might be a better approach?

I like the idea of Judge Dredd-inspired 'iso cubes': simple perspex cells with two-way mirrored walls; so wardens can see in but inmates only ever see their reflections and never know when they're being watched.  Alternatively for £50k I'll take in a (low risk) prisoner: feed 'em, beat 'em, lock 'em in the shed when we go on holiday.  Sounds easy.

(* I know - the maths is a bit off, but those are the figures I've found.  I couldn't tell you which one's wrongest.  But they kind-of tally.)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tom1200 said:

The UK spends approx. £50,000 per prisoner per year keeping an average 90,000 people locked up; about £6 billion in total.*  Assuming we can't just chuck more money at the problem - build more jails, pay staff more, recruit more - I can't help but wonder whether there might be a better approach?

I like the idea of Judge Dredd-inspired 'iso cubes': simple perspex cells with two-way mirrored walls; so wardens can see in but inmates only ever see their reflections and never know when they're being watched.  Alternatively for £50k I'll take in a (low risk) prisoner: feed 'em, beat 'em, lock 'em in the shed when we go on holiday.  Sounds easy.

This sort of idea has been tried. Didn't work.

Panopticon - Wikipedia

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