Violence involving prisoners
There is a new version of this page. View the latest version.
- 1. Navigate to Main facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toViolent incidents per 1,000 prisoners by ethnicity section
- 3. Navigate toAssaults per 1,000 prisoners by ethnicity over time section
- 4. Navigate to Methodology section
- 5. Navigate to Data sources section
- 6. Navigate to Download the data section
1. Main facts and figures
- overall, there were 16,782 recorded assaults in public prisons in England and Wales in 2016, compared with 13,250 in 2015 – an increase of 27%
- between 2012 and 2016, there was an increase in the rate of assaults per 1,000 prisoners in all ethnic groups, with the overall rate more than doubling in this period
- prisoners in the Mixed ethnic group were more likely than any other group to be involved in assaults in 2016, either as the assailant, the victim, or in an incident where the victim or assailant wasn’t clear (labelled as ‘fighter’ in the charts and tables)
The ethnic categories used in this data
Prisoners reported their own ethnicity according to the following broad categories from the 2001 Census:
- Asian/Asian British
- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Other (including Chinese)
2. Violent incidents per 1,000 prisoners by ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Assailant Incidents per 1,000 prisoners||Assailant Number of incidents||Fighter Incidents per 1,000 prisoners||Fighter Number of incidents||Victim Incidents per 1,000 prisoners||Victim Number of incidents|
|Other including Chinese||221||225||199||202||122||124|
Summary of Violence involving prisoners Violent incidents per 1,000 prisoners by ethnicity Summary
3. Assaults per 1,000 prisoners by ethnicity over time
|Asian||Black||Mixed||White||Other including Chinese||Unknown|
|Year||Asian Assaults per 1,000 prisoners||Asian Number||Black Assaults per 1,000 prisoners||Black Number||Mixed Assaults per 1,000 prisoners||Mixed Number||White Assaults per 1,000 prisoners||White Number||Other inc Chinese Assaults per 1,000 prisoners||Other inc Chinese Number||Unknown Assaults per 1,000 prisoners||Unknown Number|
Summary of Violence involving prisoners Assaults per 1,000 prisoners by ethnicity over time Summary
Rates by ethnicity have been taken from the NOMS Offender Equalities Statistics bulletin. Numbers of incidents have been taken from the Ministry of Justice’s Safety in Custody statistics bulletin.
To calculate the prisoner population, a 12-month average (based on prisoner counts done at the start of every month) was used where this data was available. This data was not available for the prisoner population by age or by ethnicity, so quarterly data was used to calculate the prisoner population.
Ethnicity is based on self-reporting by prisoners and has not been independently validated. About 95% of prisoners reported their ethnicity for each year of the period studied.
Information is provided by prisons and published by the Ministry of Justice after data checks are completed.
Rates per 1,000 prisoners are rounded to the nearest whole number. You can see rates rounded to 1 decimal place if you download the data.
5. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Ministry of Justice
Purpose of data source
This data is used by government to:
- inform policy development
- monitor the impact of changes over time
- model future changes and their impact on the prison system
6. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value and numerator