THE prison service has confirmed there will be no plans to place sex offenders at HMP Thorn Cross open prison at Appleton Thorn “for the foreseeable future.”
It has also been confirmed that there will never be any changes in the current make up of the prison population at Thorn Cross “without prior engagement with local stakeholders.”
The assurances have been made in a letter to Appleton Parish Council who had responded swiftly to oppose the proposal to place convicted sex offenders at Thorn Cross, opposite the local primary school, prior to their proposed release.
Parish Council Chair Sharon Harris says the assurances are “not perfect” and do not address the council’s request to “never” place sex offenders at Thorn Cross.
She said she would be contacting the prison authority seeking further assurances.
There was widespread condemnation from local residents, councillors, Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid, Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane and Warrington Borough Council Chief Executive Steven Broomhead, who all opposed the proposal on a united front.
The opposition brought a swift u-turn from Minister of State for Justice, Rory Stewart MP, to abandon the proposal following the huge outcry.
A spokesperson from HM Prison Service said: “Any future changes to the population make-up at HMP Thorn Cross will not be sought without prior engagement with local stakeholders and certainly nothing is planned for the foreseeable future.”
They also apologised for any upset and inconvenience which had been caused.