Open letter concerning the change of authorisation of Hollesley Bay to accommodate sex offenders
PUBLISHED: 11:59 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 24 August 2018
Dear Governor Moore,
I write on behalf of the local community on the Wilford Peninsula concerning the proposed change of authorisation of HMP & YOI Hollesley Bay to accommodate sex offenders.
The local community is gravely concerned by this apparent decision, made without consultation or notice, and the seeming lack of due process and risk assessment in coming to this decision.
We invite you and your representatives to a meeting at Hollesley Village Hall (IP12 3QR), as soon in September as possible, to hear local concerns. In particular, we ask for the following matters to be addressed:
1. What consultation was held prior to the decision being made?
2. What prior agreements existed with the community and were these taken into account?
3. How was the decision made to change Hollesley Bay into a Sex Offenders establishment? What was the process, how was it initiated and who was consulted? As part of this process, what general risks were identified and what mitigations to those
risks were identified?
4. Was the presence of the Primary School and Pre-School within a few minutes’ walk taken into account? Exactly what safeguarding measures are being taken to protect the Schools?
5. Was the integration of the prison estate with the Village of Hollesley (which includes vulnerable people and children) taken into account; what risks were identified and how was it proposed that those risks were managed?
6. Was the fact that a public highway and regional cycle route passes through the prison estate considered; what risks were considered in this regard (for example, risk of ‘vigilante’ attacks on inmates)?
7. What training has been given to Prison Officers at Hollesley Bay in the management and control of Sex Offenders?
8. Has the risk of mixing non-sex offenders and sex offenders been assessed? The Hollesley Bay estate has many wooded and sheltered areas which would facilitate attacks and ambushes by inmates (or members of the public) with antipathy towards sex offenders. Equally, these areas could be exploited by sex offenders to commit crimes.
9. You letter of 27th July 2018 describes the approach taken being is to ‘test prisoners in open conditions’. Given all the matters above, what are the potential risks for the local community of an inmate failing that ‘test’?
10. The Peninsula, as an area of outstanding natural beauty, currently attracts a wealth of tourism. What impact might the housing of sex offenders, in an open prison environment, have on tourism and subsequently the livelihoods of a large number of people?
11. Who is willing to take responsibility for the failure of any or all of the risk assessments should there be a criminal act committed by virtue of this proposed change of use?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions and residents are likely to have additional substantive concerns which they will raise either themselves or through the Parish Council in due course.
We have copied representatives of Government, local groups and the press and by so doing extend the invitation to them to attend a meeting. We are already in substantive and constructive dialogue with many of them and in particular our local MP, Dr Coffey, who is continuing to provide valuable guidance and support.
We will look forward to welcoming you to address a meeting; should you have questions please direct them to myself as Clerk to the Parish Council and co-ordinator of this meeting.
Mrs Judi Hallett
Clerk to Hollesley Parish Council