Doncaster MP in talks over Hatfield Prison escapes

MP Caroline Flint.
MP Caroline Flint.

MP Caroline Flint will meet with the governor of HMP Hatfield today to discuss concerns over escapes from the jail.

She will be joined in the talks by Hatfield ward councillor Pat Knight during a visit to raise concerns after six inmates went on the run from the open prison in six weeks.

Ms Flint has had residents complaining over the issue, and has now held two meetings with prisons minister Jeremy Wright.

She said yesterday she had impressed on the minister that she wanted him to act.

Residents have compared the prison to a holiday camp after the recent cases of inmates absconding.

Concerned resident Bev Chapman said: “Something has got to be done, surely?” She it seemed to be a holiday camp, not a prison.

The six prisoners who absconded in the last six weeks include a man dubbed the “Scarborough Slasher” who was serving a sentence for a violent knife crime.

The latest escape was on Monday when 22-year-old Mounir Jaouane failed to return to the prison.

Convicted burglar Darrell Roy Burbeary, aged 43, and convicted robber Jaouane were still on the loose yesterday.

Joe Simpson of the Prison Officers Association said: “We share the concerns of the community, at the minute the wrong type of offenders are being sent to open prisons. Because of the increase in the prison population and the closure of prisons there’s a need for more space.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The Justice Secretary has been clear that keeping the public safe is our priority and has ordered immediate and major changes to tighten up temporary release processes and open prison eligibility.”

He added each incident is treated seriously ‘with the police contacted as a mater of urgency’.

He said: “Open prisons and temporary licence are an important tool in rehabilitating long term offenders but not at the expense of public safety.”