Prisoner not assessed as escape risk

AN inmate who is on the run from a Suffolk jail would have been carefully assessed before being allowed in open conditions, the Prison Service has insisted.

AN inmate who is on the run from a Suffolk jail would have been carefully assessed before being allowed in open conditions, the Prison Service has insisted.

Police have described James Yardley, who fled Hollesley Bay Prison in Woodbridge on Monday, as "violent".

But the Prison Service said inmates would not be transferred to an open unit if they were considered a risk to the public.

Yardley, 60, was serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for false imprisonment and is believed to have absconded from the open wing of the jail between 7am and 8.30am.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said: "No prisoner believed to be any risk to the public is transferred to into open conditions. Thorough risk assessments are made before there is any move to transfer a prisoner to open conditions."

Yardley, who is known to have connections in north Essex, is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, of normal build with grey hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his right shoulder and left forearm.

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Police urged anyone who knows of Yardley's whereabouts not to approach him, but to dial 999 immediately. Anyone with information should contact Woodbridge police on 01473 613500.

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