Belstaffie’s speech – HMP Styal 26th February 2022

Full speech

Hello. I’m Belstaffie. 

For twenty years I was employed by the West Yorkshire Probation Service and I specialised in the assessment and risk management of male sexual offenders, both in custody and in the community. I also conducted a number of reports and assessments at women’s prisons in the north of the UK. 

When I retired, I thought that my concerns with public protection, safeguarding and the management of predatory and dangerous male offenders was over.  

That was until the Ministry of Justice introduced  a policy of “self identification” in UK prisons, for male prisoners with gender dysmorphia, autogynephilia or who claimed “transgender” status. 

When I learned that male inmates who “identified as “women””,  were to be imprisoned in jails that reflected their  chosen “gender ‘, not sex, I became extremely alarmed.

I was alarmed because as s Probation Officer, and a  sex offender specialist, I know about male patterns of offending.  Juxtaposed with the vulnerability of the women locked up in UK jails, there had to have been some kind of mistake made. 

For instance 80% of women at Hmp&YOI Styal (their own figures), are serving short custodial sentences for non-violent, non-sexual, non-predatory offences, such as social security fraud , shoplifting and for not paying the family TV licence. 

Men’s offending on the other hand, whether they identify as women or not, is INFINITELY more serious, more dangerous and they commit acts which cause far more serious harm. 

I  liaise with other sex offender specialists in the UK, who are  employed by the National Probation Service. 

A colleague, whom I hold in very high esteem,  and I worked out that we have assessed MANY thousands of male sex offenders over a combined 60 years practice!  THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS.

In those combined 60 years of practice, we came up with 5 female sex offenders,  between us.   5 What a shocking ratio! sexual offending is a typicly MALE sex-based and that is why sexual predators are REMOVED from society and incarcerated – away from their Ideal Victim Types ( often women and teenage girls), who are invariably the primary victims of these predators . 

And predators must never be housed with their prey!

This policy of Self id that the Ministry of Justice is implementing, puts the feelings of certain convicted men, who for whatever reason are “identifying as “women””,  over the  safe, humane,  and dignified containment of women and teenage girls. 

In the recent report by the HMIP called “Focus On Women’s Prisons” the vulnerability of women and teenage girls on the female estates was highlighted as gravely concerning. The Inspectorate reported that   prisons were often used as “places of safety” for acutely  mentally ill women. six female prison were inspected, including HMP Styal. 

In this report the Inspectorate states the following , “In our inspections we find that the fundamental principles underpinning good staff-prisoner relationships include a clear understanding and application of trauma-informed ways of working by all. These approaches do not have to be complicated; it can be as simple as recognising the effect of traumatic life events on a woman’s current behaviour. “ For  instance survivors of multiple rapes, indecent assaults, child sexual abuse, prostituted women and girls, trafficked women and girls, women and girls used as drug mules and survivors of domestic violence. 

The Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service is encouraging “trauma informed response” to work with their particularly vulnerable female population. Its a recognition on one hand, JUST how vulnerable these women are, yet as regards the policy of selfid, they are indeed BEING INHUMANE IN THEIR INCARCERATION OF THESE WOMEN. 

A very recent concerning, yet not surprising study has just been published  in the British Journal of Criminology. by Dr Matthew Maycock from Dundee University. He studied four prisons in Scotland. This study suggested that “the men who change their gender to female in jail, switched back to their birth gender, after release. It also revealed that some of the prisoners may have only identified as women, in order to have sex with female inmates”. 

Anyone that has assessed and managed male sexual offenders KNOW  that they are THE most manipulative prisoners in the system. They ARE professional manipulators and manipulate not only victims, but organisations and institutions.  It’s called “conditioning” and “grooming”. 

In rolling out the red carpet for these men, the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service are looking down and they’re missing the red-flags that these male inmates are so aggressively waving!  

These men can be safely managed on the male estate, on the Vulnerable prisoner units.  They offer enhanced support and protection for prisoners rendered vulnerable. I worked with transsexual prisoners on the Vulnerable Prisoner Unit  at HMP Leeds, so I KNOW  that the male estate IS fit for purpose for these men. 

This male pattern violence does NOT diminish or reduce, as soon as he dons feminine clothing,  wears make-up and concern themselves with other gender-affirming items and feminine frippery . 

As a retired Probation Officer, as a sexual offender specialist, And as a woman, I KNOW this policy of Self Identification is callous, dangerous and inhumane. It has nothing to do with justice, or women’s human rights and everything to do with the feelings of certain male prisoners that consider themselves to be women, taking precedence.

Keep prisons single sex!