Use of handcuffs condemned by MP

A former government minister has called for greater scrutiny of privately run secure training centres after it was revealed that young people in one establishment are regularly handcuffed.

Labour MP Sally Keeble said it was “completely unsatisfactory” that STCs resorted to using such methods of control.

Home Office minister Fiona Mactaggart said in a parliamentary answer last week that handcuffs had been used on young inmates at Hassockfield STC on 11 occasions in July and 10 in August. But they have not been used once in the last six months at either Medway or Rainsbrook STCs.

A spokesperson for the Youth Justice Board said handcuffs was just one option available to staff to restrain young people.

In another answer, Mactaggart revealed that Medway, Rainsbrook and Hassockfield had each only been subject to one unannounced inspection in the past four years. But Oakhill, which opened in August 2004, has already had three such inspections.

The YJB spokesperson said it was satisfied with the inspection arrangements for STCs.

As well as random visits, they are subject to an annual inspection from the Commission for Social Care Inspection and Ofsted that lasts for three to four days.

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