THE Government is growing increasingly concerned about the performance of Winchester Prison.

The National Offender Management Service has given the jail a rating of one, down from two, meaning its performance is of 'serious concern'.

The highest ranking is four for exceptional performance Only two other jails are ranked at one and both are privately operated.

New governor David Rogers took over Winchester earlier this year with a stated ambition of getting the top ranking.

In March an inspectors' report said half the inmates have felt unsafe and two disabled prisoners have been held in inadequate cells for 23 hours a day.

It was recently announced that Winchester would become a “resettlement prison” to try to do more to rehabilitate prisoners before their release.