Prisons Act 2007

8.

Functions of prisoner custody officer.

8.— (1) A prisoner custody officer shall, while escorting a prisoner, have all such powers as are conferred on prison officers by or under any enactment and shall, in particular, have the power to search the person of any prisoner for whose transfer or custody he or she is responsible and to remove any prohibited articles found during the course of such a search.

(2) A prisoner custody officer shall not, in the performance of his or her functions under subsection (1), remove or require the removal of a prisoner’s clothing (other than outer clothing) unless he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that the prisoner has concealed a prohibited article beneath his or her clothing.

(3) A prisoner custody officer shall not conduct a search—

( a) of a prisoner who is not of his or her sex, or

( b) in public view.

(4) A prisoner custody officer shall, as respects any prisoner for whose transfer or custody he or she is responsible—

( a) prevent his or her escape from lawful custody,

( b) prevent the commission of an offence by him or her,

( c) ensure that he or she behaves in an orderly and disciplined fashion,

( d) comply with any order of a court relating to him or her, including any such order relating to his or her custody, treatment or transfer.

(5) A prisoner custody officer may, where necessary, use all reasonable force in the performance of his or her functions under this section.

(6) It shall be the duty of a prisoner custody officer, when escorting a prisoner from a court to a prison, to give to the governor of the prison—

( a) the original or a copy of any order of the court committing the prisoner to the prison or any other document relating to the committal,

( b) any medication or prescription for medication given to the officer in respect of the prisoner, and

( c) any information relating to the prisoner’s health that the officer is aware of.

(7) A prisoner custody officer shall, in the performance of any function under this Act in relation to a prisoner, comply with such provisions of prison rules as apply in relation to the performance of that function by a prison officer.

(8) In this section—

“outer clothing” means—

( a) a hat, shoes or gloves, or

( b) a coat, sweater, jumper or similar garment, provided that the prisoner is wearing another garment underneath that covers all or the greater part of that part of the body that is covered by the said coat, sweater, jumper or similar garment;

“prohibited article” means any article that a prisoner would not be permitted to have in his or her possession while in prison.