Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Hollesley Bay: Firming-up of jail leave rules brought forward

PUBLISHED: 09:15 20 May 2014

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay

Archant

A toughening-up of day release rules at open prisons such as Suffolk’s Hollesley Bay has been accelerated after a murderer and an armed robber absconded from a Merseyside jail.

Ministers have promised to bring forward proposed changes to the system – including compulsory electronic tagging for prisoners on temporary leave – following murderer Arnold Pickering and armed robber Thomas Moffett’s disappearance from HMP Kennet at the weekend.

It was the third time Pickering, 44, from Greater Manchester, had gone on the run and came two weeks after a robber known as Skullcracker absconded from open prison in Kent.

The announcement follows news that the number of inmates going missing from Hollesley Bay almost doubled in the past three years, with Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures last month showing that 25 prisoners either absconded or failed to return from approved leave in 2012/13 – up from 17 in 2011/12 and 13 in 2010/11.

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said “major changes” would be brought in as a matter of urgency, including the abolishment of leave without clear links to rehabilitation.

But Peter McParlin, chairman of the Prison Officers Association, blamed prison closures and staff reductions for overcrowding and for people being put in open conditions when unsuitable.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said open conditions allowed long-sentenced prisoners to return to the community in a limited and controlled way, which worked well in most cases.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “Only a tiny proportion of prisoners abscond, but we need to send a clear message that this is unacceptable.

“I’m all in favour of rehabilitation and we don’t want to upset those people who play by the rules, but public safety must be our priority.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, who has discussed concerns with the MoJ about the amount of prisoners absconding from Hollesley Bay recently, said: “It is important to help facilitate prisoners transition back into normal life but open prisons should not be an easy place for potentially dangerous criminals.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

The body of a man found near Leavenheath this afternoon is believed to be that of missing Richard Hull, police have confirmed.

A super slimmer from Colchester told she was a ticking time bomb at 32 stone is enjoying a new lease of life – after shedding half her body weight.

A brave Kesgrave teenager who lost a leg to cancer hit headlines for passing her driving test a year early but she may now face losing that independence – and her beloved car.

A short stroll from the Cornhill can be packed with history, change and stories.

The man who spearheaded efforts to build a northern by-pass across Ipswich 25 years ago has backed new plans to build the road that are now emerging.

A man arrested in connection with an incident that saw armed police descend on Ipswich town centre last night will face no further action.

Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for a post he put on social media following a private visit to Ipswich Hospital.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24