A COUNCIL leader has moved to reassure residents over fears that only sex offenders would be housed in prisons on the Isle of Wight.

Two prisons on the Isle of Wight – Albany and Parkhurst – already house convicted sex offenders, including notorious paedophiles such as Roger Gleaves, who was jailed for raping two 14-year-old boys in 1998.

The Island’s third jail, Camp Hill, could close in April as part of a cost-cutting drive.

But Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr David Pugh said he was more concerned about the job losses associated with the proposed closure of Camp Hill.

He said: “The fact is that the Island has had many sex offenders behind bars for many years.

“As long as the prisons are secure, managed effectively and offenders are sent back to where they have come from, it’s not really a concern.

“The vast majority of Islanders have no day-to-day contact with the prisons.”

The closure of Camp Hill will be discussed at a meeting next week between Cllr Pugh and new HMP Isle of Wight Governor Andy Lattimore.