Fury over new bail hostels

BAIL hostels on residential estates housing suspects awaiting trial and convicted criminals released from prison are to be located in Suffolk towns, it has emerged.

BAIL hostels on residential estates housing suspects awaiting trial and convicted criminals released from prison are to be located in Suffolk towns, it has emerged.

One hostel already exists on Spring Road in Ipswich and another is in the pipeline for the town.

Steven Wells, the housing services portfolio holder for Ipswich Borough Council, said he was “very uncomfortable with the idea” of the bail hostels.

He said: “There is an argument to say there is no additional danger to the public but personally I feel very uncomfortable about them and I think they are fundamentally wrong.


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“While it is difficult to say if there is an increased risk to the public, I think it is foolhardy of the Government to take a stance which may increase that risk.

“An awful lot of crimes are committed by prolific criminals and repeat offenders. If that is the kind of circles that these people move in what kind of network of people will they have coming to that property and what influence will this have on the streets?

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“There are so many knock-on effects. I think it is a terrible idea and I just wish the Government had asked local authorities for their input as then we would have had a chance to say no.”

The bail hostels will be run by a private company called ClearSprings and will be in rented properties which are not permanently staffed and could house up to four people.

The Ministry of Justice said the hostels are for people awaiting trial and for criminals who have served their time in prison and need to finish their sentence in the community.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “Those in BASS accommodation are innocent until proven guilty. Defendants who pose a risk to the public will continue to be held on remand.”

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