Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

‘We seem to be getting some momentum’ – Petition launched to stop Suffolk prison housing sex offenders

PUBLISHED: 08:52 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 21 August 2018

Hollesley Bay Colony

Hollesley Bay Colony

A petition has been launched to prevent a Suffolk open prison from housing sex offenders amid uproar from the community.

The Prison Service recently confirmed Hollesley Bay was among several open prisons that would be used to accommodate the growing number of sex offenders in the criminal justice system.

Despite assurances offenders would be “suitably risk assessed”, the proposals prompted a major backlash. People living in the area raised concerns about the number of prisoners absconding and called for more consultation. And following the latest prisoner absconder on Friday, villagers escalated their campaign by lodging a Government petition.

Hollesley resident Joel Stone said: “We seem to be getting some momentum. I think the whole idea of housing sex offenders at Hollesley is ridiculous.

“There’s a primary school within a few minutes’ walk from the prison, there’s also the Suffolk Punch Trust, which people like to visit with their children and there’s a public road going through the grounds.

“People are quite angry about it, especially as it seems to have been brought in without consultation.

“They are used to having prisoners around – but these are not the sorts of prisoners you want to be near a primary school.”

Mr Stone said the Government had initially rejected the petition – but accepted it after being told it related to a proposed change to the existing admissions criteria. He said the petition would be available online within days.

The announcement had already drawn criticism from Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, who feared further absconding could make more work for Suffolk Constabulary.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has also raised concerns with the prisons minister.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Under this Government more sex offenders are being convicted and going to prison, and spending longer there. Sex offenders are already held successfully at other open prisons but their growing number means we need more of our open prisons to accommodate them, including HMP Hollesley Bay. A wider range of rehabilitation options for these men as they prepare to re-enter society is the best way of minimising the risk to the public.”

Hollesley Parish Council is organising a public meeting to discuss the proposals with key figures at a date yet to be agreed.

A pigeon cull on Ipswich Waterfront has been suspended following plans from protestors to “disrupt” the event.

Restoring a village pub that was once John Peel’s favourite watering hole has been a labour of love for two families in Rattlesden, who couldn’t bear to see their local pub falling into a state of disrepair.

Schoolchildren joined a poignant suffragette march through Ipswich to mark the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

This was the moment a miraculous double rainbow appeared over an Ipswich school.

The Ipswich-based Volvo retailer, Donalds Garage has celebrated the opening of their new multi-million-pound showroom at Futura Park.

Looking for bargain toys in the run-up to Christmas? If so, there’s still just time to take advantage of Argos three for two toy sale - while Smyths has unveiled early Black Friday offers.

Serious safety incidents led to 35 deaths at the region’s mental health trust over a six month period, figures have revealed.

Ipswich is expected to have one of the fastest-growing city economies in the UK in the three months following the scheduled date for leaving the EU, according to a new report.

A road in a coastal town centre has been shut at short notice for emergency repairs.

Suffolk last week took a step nearer to taking charge of enforcing parking along streets, writes Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24