max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

09:15 20 May 2014

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay


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.”

Empty classroom

Education bosses in Suffolk have welcomed latest figures which mark the county’s highest school attendance record in the last decade.

David Wood, 61, from Woodbridge, went missing while walking in the French Alps in August. Pictured: David Wood and his Wife Valerie Armstrong

The wife of a Woodbridge man who went missing while walking in France three months ago says she has been ‘wrapped in a cloak of love’ by people in the town since his disappearance.

Celebrate Halloween at events across Suffolk.

It’s nearly Halloween and there is a variety of events across Suffolk this half term to keep your little monsters entertained no matter what their age.

Greenstead roundabout after its lick of paint

A roundabout has been given a new lease of life thanks to a revolutionary line-painting technique.

Corrie McKeague

It is exactly one month to the day since 23-year-old Corrie McKeague apparently vanished in Bury St Edmunds – yet people with potentially vital information still have not come forward.

A Class 90 locomotive with Mark III carriages on an InterCity train.

When Abellio won the Greater Anglia rail franchise for the next nine years, the most eye-catching pledge was to replace every train, every carriage operated by the company by the end of 2020.

Ex matron Mary Hunt with son, Barry Ward, is launching a community interest company to help support people with down syndrome and their family
There's been talk in the media about down syndrome and whether its ethical to eradicate it, and this lady has some strong views because her son  has the condition, on Monday at 
Beyea Healthcare, Westerfield House, Westerfield business centre, Westerfield Road, Ipswich,

A registered nurse is launching a community interest company to support people with Down’s syndrome and similar conditions after the experiences her son.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24