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Fears that crimes in prison go unnoticed
12:20pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Crime
FEARS have been raised that serious crimes in a Hampshire jail could be going unprosecuted.
A watchdog report on Winchester Prison points the finger at cost-cutting and says officer morale is low with “unprecedented levels of staff sickness”.
But it is also critical of police for declining to share figures on how many crimes within the prison are subsequently pursued through the courts.
John Teece, chairman of the Independent Monitoring Board, said: “We would have felt that the chief constable would have been as keen to share the information as we would be to explore it.
“Within the prison system there seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for prosecution.
“What we believe is wrong is that it is not always the case that the same rules outside of prison are the same inside it, and people who carry out such crimes should face the same level of prosecution.
“Our thoughts are very much based around transparency.
“The major concern is that serious offences often seem to go unprosecuted and we wanted to get a handle on how often they were, or weren’t, prosecuted.
“We feel you should not be able to commit serious offences in jail and for it to go unprosecuted.”
The report also says the Personal Officer Scheme, where each prisoner is assigned an officer during their stay, is not working – despite being flagged up in the board’s report for the third consecutive time.
There was praise however for the prison’s governor, David Rogers.
Hampshire police were unavailable for comment.
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