Memorandum by the Home
1998 (S.I. 1998/473)
The Committee have requested a
memorandum in respect of the above instrument on the following
Rule 2(4) provides that
an offender is not to be stripped and searched in the sight of
any person other than the officers who are present at the search.
Explain why (unlike rule 33(3)(c) of S.I. 1998/472) no provision
is included prohibiting an offender from being stripped and searched
in the sight or presence of an officer who is not of the same
sex as the offender.
It is considered essential to
provide that a search may only take place when at least two officers
are present (rule 2(5)). This is for the protection of both the
offender and the officers concerned. Wherever possible, only officers
of the same sex as the offender will be present. However, the
contract for the provision of escorts requires only one person
of the same sex as the offender to be available for escort duties
in relation to a particular offender as there will not necessarily
be more than one female custody officer available at any one time.
It is not anticipated that there will be a large number of female
offenders but the situation will be carefully monitored by the
escort monitor. The situation in the secure training centre itself
is different, as the Committee have pointed out, but there will
always be sufficient custody officers of each sex at the centre
to ensure compliance with rule 33(3)(c).
31st March 1998