Recent events within HMP Thorn Cross has sparked an urgent review of the prison and its security.
April 2021: Drugs stashed in the gardens
In April this year news arose that drugs had been found to be stashed in the gardens near the prison. Residents in Appleton Thorn, which is based near the Category D prison, had said that different amounts of the illegal contraband had been hidden in their gardens. Villagers had claimed that they found packages of drugs, steroids and alcohol which were being hidden in their gardens.
As the prison itself holds prisoners who are free to leave to work within the community, the security is now being questioned and is being reviewed after this first concerning event.
Warrington South MP Andy Carter said: “There are no large walls surrounding this prison and the majority of prisoners will go away from the prison to work in the community on a regular basis but what we’ve actually seen over the last couple of weeks is an increasing amount of contraband, drugs, alcohol going into the prison.
“I think that is concerning and I’ve asked Cheshire Police and the prison service to take action.”
He also said police would “work with the prison to introduce additional security measures to try and stop the dropping off of packages in neighbouring areas”.
June tallies a total of five prison escapees.
News has now emerged that a total of five prisoners had fled from the prison over the past four months causing alert for the town as well as an urgent review on the security of the prison.
HMP Thorn Cross, in Appleton Thorn, is a category D facility, and is also known as an open prison, with the least number of restrictions on people in custody. This means that the prisoners get to spend little time in their cells, with more of a focus on reintegration as prisoners come to the conclusion of their sentences.
The Ministry of Justice Bosses released an urgent review after releasing the news of the escaped Prisoners from the HMP Thorn Cross Prison in Warrington.
Daniel Green, Michael Ratcliffe, Vincent Bland, Joseph Halsall and Steven White all escaped from the prison between the months of March and June this year which then triggered appeals by the police to find them and returned back to prison.
Since then the prisoners have been found and returned back behind bars, but since then this has raised warning signs on the level of security within the prison which has then escalated for a review.
Since the return of the prisoners, a spokesman announced that Extra security measures have been put in place including the use of dog patrols at the prison. Those who abscond can face extra time in prison. It has now been released that should any other prisoners attempt to escape from the prison and are then caught they will then be given extra sentence time as punishment.