Statement in response to HMP Kennet closure announcement

Merseyside / May 05

Merseyside's Police Commissioner has responded to the Government announcement that prison HMP Kennet is set to close.

Justice secretary Michael Gove today released a statement confirming the Category C jail in Maghull will no longer hold prisoners from July 2017.

In a letter to the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy,  the Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, Michael Spurr, said that the opening of HMP Berwyn in 2017 will create 2,106 prison places in Wrexham.

Responding to the announcement, Jane said: "I am not impressed by the explanation and, given that this will have a big negative impact on the ability of probation and police services to maintain coherent offender management strategies, I would have expected more consultation.

“This will also badly affect offender family support and undermine hopes for less re-offending.

“The new prison was due to open anyway. I suspect this has nothing to do with the reasons given, but is a further example of high-handed decision making by Home Office ministers."