Prison population in Lancashire

There are five prisons in Lancashire with a combined population of 3,380 as at March 2021. The prison population in Lancashire represents 4.3% of the England and Wales population, excluding immigration removal centres. The in-use certified normal accommodation figure was 3,391 for the month. The Lancashire prison population as a percentage of the in-use certified normal accommodation figure was 95%, slightly lower than the figure for all prisons in England and Wales (excluding immigration removal centres), which was 102%. Within Lancashire, HMP Preston had the greatest prison/young offender population as a percentage of the in-use certified normal accommodation figure at 151%, indicating that there is some overcrowding there. HMP Kirkham had the lowest percentage at 70%.

The five Lancashire establishments employ 1,675 people.

Please click on the link at the bottom of the page to download further analysis.

Youth justice and offending statistics

Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) supervise 10–18-year-olds who have been sentenced by a court, or who have come to the attention of the police because of their offending behaviour but have not been charged, and instead are dealt with out of court. HMI Probation inspects both these aspects of youth offending services. YOTs are statutory partnerships, and they are multi-disciplinary, to deal with the needs of the whole child. They are required to have staff from local authority social care and education services, the police, the National Probation Service (NPS) and local health services. 

Lancashire is one of the largest YOTs in the country and is located within Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) directorate for children’s services. The service was inspected by HM Inspectorate of Probation in spring 2019 and the results of this inspection published in July 2019. This report and supporting documentation can be downloaded using the link at the bottom of this page.

The Ministry of Justice publishes a range of annual statistics which concentrate on the flow of young people (aged 10-17) through the Youth Justice System in England and Wales. For the year ending March 2020, violence against the person is the most common offence for a young offender (30%) in the Lancashire-14 area. Please click on the link at the bottom of the page to download further analysis.


From 26th June 2021 the new Probation Service will take over offender management. There are four local delivery units in Lancashire, which sit under the North West Region:

  1. North West Lancashire (Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Lancaster)
  2. Blackburn (Blackburn with Darwen and parts of Ribble Valley)
  3. East Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, Rossendale and parts of Ribble Valley)
  4. Central Lancashire (Preston, Chorley, South Ribble, West Lancashire)

The Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA) manage the most serious sexual and violent criminals living in the community. Their work is documented in the MAPPA annual reports. On 31 March 2020, there were 3,116 offenders in the Lancashire-14 area under MAPPA management in the community.

Reoffending rates

The Ministry of Justice publishes reoffending statistics down to the district authority level. These are visualised on page 8 of the community safety power bi report.  Proven reoffending in the April 2018 to March 2019 period was 26.1% in the Lancashire-12 area, compared with 27.4% in England and Wales. The percentage of the cohort who reoffended was highest in Burnley and Lowest in West Lancashire. The highest number of reoffences were in Blackpool (2,226), followed by Preston (1,645).


Page updated June 2021