Fears raised during public meeting over sex offenders at prison
PUBLISHED: 11:50 01 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:15 01 December 2018
Residents have voiced their concerns about the introduction of convicted sex offenders to Hollesley Bay prison at a meeting with their MP.
The meeting, which went ahead on Friday, December 30, saw residents pose questions to Dr Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, about the decision to introduce sex offenders to the category D prison.
As an open prison, Hollesley Bay currently takes on male prisoners who can be reasonably trusted not to try to escape and therefore offenders can be allowed to work in the local community.
Some sexual offenders fall into this category, particularly towards the end of their sentence.
More than 40 questions were asked at the hour-long meeting by the 26 residents that attended.
Joel Stone said: “We just don’t have any real answers at all. We may as well have not had the meeting. I don’t feel that it was worthwhile.
“It appears we have an MP that just doesn’t really care.”
Residents raised a range on concerns including where prisoners will live after being released and how they will be rehabilitated in the local area.
The prison currently does not have a permanent governor after the incumbent left his role to join Norwich prison in September.
Judi Hallett, who is clerk to Hollesley Parish Council, said: “I think the meeting went well. We had 28 people there which was a good number for a meeting on a Friday evening.
“One of the concerns that people had is about reoffenders. People were worried that if a prisoner doesn’t want to be released then they could go and reoffend to stay in prison. Of course if they are in Hollesley Prison they will be reoffending in the local area.”
The introduction of sexual offenders at Hollesley Bay has not been finalised.
Mr Stone continued: “It’s our wives and our children and our houses and they all could be affected. The house prices will go down because of this and I don’t think they have thought about the people that live here.”