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Wed, 3 June 2020

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Equality and Human Rights Commission raises concerns about roll out of PAVA spray

David Isaac, EHRC Chair | Equality and Human Rights Commission

1 min read Member content

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has raised concerns about the safety and safeguards connected with the use of PAVA spray in prisons in light of today’s announcement from the Prisons Minster.


We understand that prison officers need methods to protect themselves and other prisoners but such protections must not be at the expense of the basic rights of prisoners.

 Everyone has the right to live without fear of inhumane treatment and the use of PAVA spray in a detention environment is a way of controlling behaviour that causes pain and can seriously injure.

We wrote and met with the Prison Service last month to set out our reservations about the wide-spread introduction of PAVA spray in the prison system, and are disappointed that there has not been any further debate ahead of this announcement.

Making PAVA spray available to every prison officer increases the risk that it might be used inappropriately.

We will be writing to the Prison Service to repeat our request for further information about their pilot project so that we can assess the adequacy of the restrictions and safeguards for PAVA spray’s use.

Read the most recent article written by David Isaac, EHRC Chair - EHRC Chair comments on support for older people during pandemic

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