Some prisoners may have been wrongly classified and released after IT failure.

David Duguid MP has written to the Scottish Government over fears prisoners at HMP Grampian were potentially wrongly released as a result of an IT failure which created inaccurate risk assessments.

By John A. MacInnes
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 2:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 2:16 pm
David Duguid MP
David Duguid MP

In his letter to SNP justice secretary Keith Brown, the Banff and Buchan MP has sought urgent clarification on the impact it has had on inmates based at the Peterhead jail.

Mr Duguid said residents across Banff and Buchan were “rightly concerned” after it was revealed the wrong risk level was attributed to hundreds of Scottish offenders.

More than 1,000 cases are being reviewed, and the computer system has been shut down in favour of a paper-based alternative in the meantime.

The justice secretary said 1,317 assessments had been made where scores in the system “did not match” the final risk level calculated - 1,032 of them “closed” or completed cases, dating back to 2012.

In 537 of these cases, social work teams applied an over-ride, leaving 495 which “appear to contain a risk level affected by the system error”.

Mr Duguid said: “The potential release of hundreds of dangerous criminals could have catastrophic consequences on our community.

“This looks like a shocking blunder from the Scottish Government who appear to have no idea if this mistake has resulted in harm to the public.”

The letter states: “As you will know, my constituency covers HMP Grampian which houses some of the most high-risk criminals in Scotland.

“Residents are rightly concerned that dangerous criminals being assigned lower risk levels and treated accordingly when being rehabilitated into the community.