NPM 2020

NPM INVITATION TO TENDER: SCOTLAND’S PROGRESS IN THE PREVENTION OF ILL-TREATMENT IN PLACES OF DETENTION

The National Preventive Mechanism invites interested parties to submit a proposal to produce a report reviewing progress made in Scotland on the prevention of ill-treatment in detention settings.

The report should be written in light of recommendations made by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) in the reports on their visits to the United Kingdom in both 2018 and 2019, as well as taking into account the broader context in which COVID-19 has impacted on detention settings.

Find out more information on how to apply here.

 

UK NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISM RESPONDS TO UN SUBCOMITTEE ON PREVENTION OF TORTURE’S REPORT

The UK National Preventive Mechanism has published the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT)’s report to the UK NPM, following its visit to the UK in September 2019. We have also published the UK NPM’s official response to the SPT report.

UK NPM Chair, John Wadham, has commented on the SPT report:

“The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture carried out their first ever visit to the UK in September 2019. Their report on the UK NPM , and our response, is published today. On behalf of the NPM, I welcome the Subcommittee’s report.

Crucially, the Subcommittee makes clear that adoption of robust legislation regarding the NPM and its members is necessary in order for the UK to fully comply with its international obligations under OPCAT, highlighting that this is needed as an essential safeguard for NPM independence, effectiveness and credibility. This is an issue we have raised for a number of years and following the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on the matter this summer, the UK NPM awaits a positive response from government.

I am proud of the fact that the Subcommittee also states that the NPM has “a positive and durable impact on preventing torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Every year, the UK’s NPM make nearly 70,000 visits to prisons, young offender institutions, immigration detention facilities, police custody, court custody and to observe escorts. This is an incredible achievement and a strength of the UK’s NPM.

The Subcommittee’s report provides clear recommendations for the UK NPM to work toward to improve the way in which we exercise our OPCAT mandate. We look forward to a continuing dialogue with the Subcommittee in the future to help strengthen our joint role in preventing torture and ill-treatment for those in detention.”

 

UK NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISM RESPOND TO MINISTRY OF JUSTICE CONSULTATION

The UK NPM has responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation, Strengthening the Independent Scrutiny Bodies through Legislation. 

The consultation proposes to strengthen a number of organisations who have a role to protect those in detention by improving their legislative basis. The consultation asks for ‘views on giving the NPM a possible statutory basis and how this might be done in light of the particular nature of the NPM’.

The NPM’s response highlights the need for NPM legislation, which has been recognised by two United Nations committees and the Council of Europe’s anti-torture body.

Read the NPM’s response here.

 

UK NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISM’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19

The UK NPM has raised concerns over how the COVID-19 outbreak puts people in detention and staff at significant levels of risk in a letter sent to the Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland QC MP.

In this factsheet we highlight some approaches being taken across the NPM to ensure monitoring continues and adapts appropriately to COVID-19. 

See our Twitter page for regular updates on how NPM members are responding to the emergency and taking forward their role to prevent ill-treatment in detention.

In July, we submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, as part of their inquiry into the human rights implications of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

 

CPT REPORT ON DETENTION IN ENGLAND, 2019

On 3o April 2020, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published a report on their targeted follow-up visit to England. The NPM welcomes the comprehensive report. We welcome also the CPT’s recommendation that UK authorities take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the NPM is fully in compliance with OPCAT requirements.

Read our statement to the report.

In July, we submitted evidence to the Justice Select Committee as part of their inquiry into Children and young people in custody. Our submission highlighted the CPT’s findings on Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) and Secure Training Centres (STCs) in England from their 2019 visit.

 

PUBLICATION OF TWO NEW REPORTS FROM THE UK NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISM

The UK NPM published our Tenth Annual Report and a report to mark our 10 year anniversary on 26 March 2020.

Each year, the NPM publishes an annual report to update the public on the situation in detention across the UK. In the report for 2018-19, we outline some of the key developments in policy and legislation on issues relating to people in detention, and an overview of the NPM’s findings relating to detention during the year.

The UK was one of the first countries to ratify OPCAT and set up a National Preventive Mechanism. Ten years on from the creation of the UK NPM in 2009, we look back at the positive impact we have had on preventing torture and ill-treatment and on upholding the rights of people in detention.

 

VISIT FROM THE UNITED NATION’S SUBCOMMITTEE ON PREVENTION OF TORTURE

On the 9th – 18th September 2019, the United Nation’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) carried out their first ever country visit to the United Kingdom.

The SPT have a mandate to advise and assist national preventive mechanisms on preventing torture and ill-treatment in places of detention. NPM members welcomed this visit, and were pleased that the delegation were able to shadow NPM members on visits to places of detention. We look forward to receiving the SPT’s report to the UK NPM.

For updates on the report from the SPT, please follow us on @UKNPM

 

PUBLICATION OF NPM NINTH ANNUAL REPORT 2017-18

The NPM’s Ninth Annual Report was published on 29 January 2019. It gives an overview of the inspection and monitoring findings of the NPM’s 21 member organisations, who work across all places of detention in the UK. The report highlights concerns about the safety of detainees and improper use of restraint on vulnerable detainees.

The publication of the report comes ahead of the NPM’s 10th anniversary on 31 March 2019 and a year of scrutiny of the UK by the Committee against Torture in its periodic review of the UK followed by a visit from the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.

NPM Chair John Wadham commented on the report.

 

PUBLICATION OF NPM DETENTION POPULATION DATA MAPPING PROJECT 2016-17

On 24 January 2018, the NPM published the results of a project to map the detention population across the UK between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.

To perform its functions effectively, the NPM requires information about where and how many people are detained including in prisons, immigration centres, secure settings for children and young adults and psychiatric hospitals. To provide an overview of detention across every setting in the four jurisdictions of the UK, the annual data mapping project brings together existing population data and highlights what is missing. This year data has also been sourced on the number of deaths that occurred in or following detention across the UK.

NPM Chair John Wadham commented on the findings.

 

CPT REPORT ON DETENTION IN THE UK

On 19 April 2017, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report which examines practices in police stations, prisons, immigration removal centres and mental health detention, after a visit to the UK from 20 March to 12 April 2016. NPM Chair John Wadham welcomes the report, which reflects many concerns of NPM members.