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Eighty prison officers at HMP Wandsworth skipped shifts on day of Daniel Khalife escape

HMP Wandsworth (PA Wire)
HMP Wandsworth (PA Wire)

Eighty prison officers at HMP Wandsworth did not attend their shifts on the day Daniel Khalife escaped from the prison, a Government minister has said.

Justice minister Damian Hinds confirmed the figure, equating to 39% of total expected staff on September 6, in response to a question submitted by Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting.

Khalife, 21, was remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday after allegedly escaping from HMP Wandsworth on September 6 by strapping himself to the underside of a food delivery lorry.

125 Band 3 Prison Officers at the prison attended their shift on that day. This equates to 61% of all staff due to attend. 80 officers did not attend their expected shift at the prison on that day

Damian Hinds

He was arrested on a canal towpath in west London on Saturday after being pulled off a push bike by a plain-clothes counter-terrorism officer.

Dr Allin-Khan asked how many and what proportion of shift slots at Wandsworth Prison were unfilled on that date, to which Mr Hinds responded on Thursday: “On 6 September 2023, 1,594 prisoners were held at HMP Wandsworth.

“125 Band 3 Prison Officers at the prison attended their shift on that day. This equates to 61% of all staff due to attend.

“80 officers did not attend their expected shift at the prison on that day.”

The Conservative MP for East Hampshire said staffing levels were still above the minimum level required at the prison, and all staff in both the kitchen and gatehouse were on duty on the day in question.

He added an initial investigation into Khalife’s escape “did not find the staffing level to be a contributing factor”.