The number of frontline Prison Officers working on the Isle of Wight has fallen – according to statistics released today (Wednesday).
The number of officers recorded this year is 249 – compared to 260 in 2015, 230 in 2014 and 300 in 2013. The Isle of Wight combined its Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill prison sites in 2009 to form HMP Isle of Wight. The fall in officers comes despite Ministry of Justice plans to recruit additional staff to help respond to the highest levels of violence, suicide and self-injury since recording practices began. Statistics seen by the Howard League for Penal Reform show that there were 14,689 frontline officers (full time equivalent) in England and Wales in June 2016, down from 15,110 a year earlier. Almost every region has seen frontline officer numbers fall in the last year, with the most significant reductions recorded in the East Midlands (8 per cent), the South West (7 per cent) and the West Midlands (7 per cent). While officer numbers fell between June 2013 and June 2016, the prison population across England and Wales rose from 83,796 to 85,130 – putting more pressure on the system.