Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

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.

shares

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.”

shares
Firefighters rescued a woman stuck in mud in Glemsford

A woman who was trapped in mud and lost in Glemsford was found after a frantic search involving fire, police and ambulance crews.

An accident has caused travel delays

A 79-year-old man has died following a collision involving a trailer that had separated from a tractor as it travelled along an Essex road.

The Woolpack in Ipswich

Seven teenagers were arrested after a street fight spilled into a busy pub located near to Ipswich Music Day.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Charlotte was christened in front of the Queen and close family and friends today as the Cambridges had their first public outing as a family of four.

Thousands of visitors attended the Ipswich Music Day in Christchurch Park on Sunday.
L-R Donna Allport,Tony Croft,Hannah Cruse.

The annual Ipswich Music Day in Christchurch Park is well underway after a wet start to proceedings.

An appreciative crowd enjoying the entertainment at the first Bury Folk Festival held in the walled garden at Nowton Park on Saturday.
Bury Folk Collective chairman Brian Kew who performed with twelve-year-old Francesca Akehurst

Hundreds of people visited Nowton Park for a folk festival’s inaugural event at the weekend.

The Women on Wheels bike ride sets out from Nowton Park near Bury.

Almost 200 women got on their bikes for charity earlier today and cycled hundreds of miles to support St Nicholas Hospice.

Firefighters attended the scene in Clacton

A 16-year-old had to be cut out of a car after a crash in Clacton.

Delays have been caused after a two-vehicle collision on the A11. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

A person has been taken to hospital after a two-vehicle crash left one car upside down off the A11.

The vintage rally in the grounds of Melford Hall, Long Melford.

From steam engines to tractors, military vehicles to motorcycles – there was something for any motoring enthusiast at the Long Melford Vintage Rally over the weekend.

Most read

Topic pages