Letter: Prison searches

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The Independent Online
Sir: The governor of Birmingham prison had instructed his staff to search visitors on the same basis as prison staff, that is to say, periodically ("Anger at search exemption for prison chiefs", 7 January).

Although all visitors and staff are searched when entering high-security prisons, Birmingham does not fall into that category, and procedures vary according to security circumstances. Ann Widdecombe has visited more than 100 prisons while Prisons Minister, and is regularly searched.

A J PEARSON

Director of Security and Programmes

HM Prison Service

London SW1

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