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IMB report praises safety at HMP Thameside

Published: 31 Aug 2017

In its latest report published today, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) praises the  leadership and staff at Serco operated HMP Thameside, saying that the prison ‘bucks the national trend on safety and staffing’, and that prisoners ‘generally feel safe and the Serco-run prison is fully staffed’. 

The IMB highlights in the report that HMP Thameside is a humane prison where prisoners are treated fairly and generally feel safe; that good staffing levels are achieved through a determined recruitment effort; that the levels of violence did not increase in Thameside during the reporting year and that the prison enables prisoners to maintain strong links with their families in a range of ways, including storybook dads, family visit days and ready telephone access.

Craig ThomsonCommenting on the report, Craig Thomson, Serco’s Contract Director at HMP Thameside, said: “The men and women of London who work at this prison do a challenging job exceptionally well and I am really proud of every one of them.   As the report says, any violence is completely unacceptable so we must continue with our efforts to reduce it further, but I am confident that with the team here we will continue to improve all aspects of the prison.”

The last report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP) similarly found that HMP Thameside was ‘arguably one of the better local prisons in the capital’ and described it as ‘a respectful prison’ where the relationship between the staff and prisoners continues to be a strength and where the staff, who were inexperienced in 2013 soon after the prison opened, had ‘grown both in confidence and competence.’ 

The full report is published on

About HMP Thameside

HMP Thameside in Woolwich, South East London, is managed and operated by Serco on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and opened in 2012.  It can hold up to 1232 prisoners; the proportion of those held on remand fluctuates but was generally around 40% during 2016/17.