PPO Covid-19 May 13 Update

Following the latest Government advice about the COVID-19 emergency, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) will continue to work remotely.

We have been working hard to come up with a solution that enables us to still receive post during the lockdown. We are now working with a postal scanning company to ensure we can access complaints from prisoners and other mail.

This will enable us to have access to all post that has been held since the start of lockdown and our investigators will work through this as quickly as possible. All incoming mail will be diverted to the scanning provider to enable us to receive new mail as the lockdown gradually eases.

Our investigators have been working throughout the lockdown to complete ongoing investigations but this now means we can continue to progress existing cases and open new cases that are eligible.


On complaints, prisoners can write letters as normal and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner, mindful of the backlog that we are working through.

People in prison who want to contact the PPO to raise any urgent issues can phone us on 020 7633 4100 or lo-call 0845 010 7938. We will listen to all voicemails and respond to these calls where appropriate.

We have sent information notices to all prisons and we have used Prison Radio where it is available to explain the position to prisoners and assure them we will return to normal working as soon as we can.

Family members or anyone with a concern can email us on behalf of someone in prison at mail@ppo.gov.uk.

Complainants in Immigration Removal Centres and those on probation can still send their eligible complaints to our complaints email address.

Fatal Incidents

We are still investigating all deaths in prisons.  We are conducting interviews by video or phone and documents are being sent to our investigators electronically. We have asked prisons to preserve evidence we need for our investigations if they cannot send it to us immediately.

We are being informed of all deaths and will open new investigations as usual, although it is likely that we will need to extend our timescales in some cases until we are able to gather information and investigate safely. We are keeping families informed where this is the case.

These changes are temporary and we will review them regularly in line with Government advice. We will ensure that all stakeholders receive the most accurate and up to date information.