“Since 30 June 2023, there has been an increase of over 700 full-time equivalent [staff], that’s band 3 to band 5.”
In Parliament on Thursday 7 September, justice secretary Alex Chalk said that “since 30 June 2023”, there has been an “increase of over 700 full-time equivalent” band 3 to 5 prison staff.
That figure doesn’t reflect what the latest available published data shows. The “over 700” figure appears to actually refer to the increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) band 3-5 prison officers in the year to 30 June 2023, rather than since then.
The latest published workforce statistics don’t give any data on the number of prison officers since June 2023—they only show figures up to the end of June 2023. However they do show the total number of FTE band 3-5 officers, which includes prison officers, supervising officers and custodial managers, increased by 701 in the 12 months to June 2023, compared to the previous year.
As we explained in another fact check on this subject earlier today, this represents an increase of 3.2%.
Ministers should correct false or misleading claims made in Parliament as soon as possible, in keeping with the Ministerial Code which states that they should correct “any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity”. We’ve contacted the Ministry of Justice about Mr Chalk’s comments and will update this article with any response.
Image courtesy of David Woolfall
We took a stand for good information.
After we published this fact check, we contacted Alex Chalk to request a correction regarding this claim.
A ministerial correction was subsequently made to Hansard.
Don’t put up with bad information.
Add your name and join the fight for higher standards.
Yes, I’ll join the fight for good information