Camp Hill to empty of prisoners after 101 years of service

Branch Secretary of the Prison Officers Association says staff have been treated appallingly by the Prison service.

Prison bars

Many thanks to Ben Cooper, Branch Secretary for Camp Hill Prison Officers Association for this latest news. Ed


Camp Hill site of HMP Isle of Wight will be empty of prisoners this week and fully decommissioned by April when the land will be handed back to Ministry of Justice.

This will end the 101 years of history and dedicated public service that Camp Hill has provided. This is the end of a period of local history and will live on in the minds and hearts of many staff and prisoners who have lived and worked there through the years.

On the 10th of January, 2013 staff were told of the closure. They were shocked, upset and angry. We would like to thank everyone for the support of the Isle of Wight community when this news broke.

Knox: “A massive loss to the Island economy”
Camp Hill Prison Officers Association (POA) Chair Mr. Knox said, “This closure represents a massive loss to the Island economy to the tune of £8 million which will have a knock on effect to everyone who lives here.”

In a time when cuts from this Government are deep and savage, as we head towards a triple dip recession and Job losses on this Island are increasing month on month to levels higher than most of the UK, it is time for the community to stand together.

Economic impact
The risk of closure for every prison in the UK is very real and the protection of the remaining Island prisons is paramount. If they were both to close, a total of £30 million will be lost from this Island year on year.

Shops, local business and council revenue will be seriously damaged by this loss. The value of closure is more than financial, it damages the community as a whole.

Continued pressure on MP
The Island branches of the POA continue to urge the Island MP, Mr Turner to represent the views and needs of the people who elected him not just follow the party line.

The government need to be aware that handing our local community prisons over to private sector Titan prisons will inevitably lead to a greater risk to the public which is unacceptable.

Staff “treated appallingly”
Staff at HMP Isle of Wight are nearing the end of this stressful time when they have been treated appallingly by the Prison service. The POA are hopeful that everyone will know what is happening to them soon, but the deadlines have been extended and put back adding to the distress and upset.

The Island branches of the POA would like to extend its solidarity and support to every working person losing their job and the increasing numbers of unemployed who cannot find work on this Island due to no fault of their own.

E-petition
The POA have set up a Government E-Petition online which will be running for a year and we would ask that everyone signs this and demonstrates the support from this community to protect against further closures.

Please sign this petition and support the ongoing campaign across the unions to protect our services.

If you want to add your signature in opposition of the closure, see the ePetition.


Image: Trishalyn under CC BY 2.0


Location map
View the location of this story in Newport, England, United Kingdom.

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Wednesday, 6th March, 2013 11:25am

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Filed under: Government, HMP Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight News, Newport, Top story

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8 Comments

  1. Bystander's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

    6.Mar.2013 11:45am

    So if they shut all the prisons where are they going to lock up all the poor soles driven to crime after being made destitute by a government waging a war on the poor?

    Reply
    • Martin Stones's comment is rated +10 Vote +1 Vote -1

      6.Mar.2013 11:49am

      More to the point, where will our poor Council leaders and exec’s stay when they’re found out !

      Reply
    • Cicero's comment is rated +8 Vote +1 Vote -1

      6.Mar.2013 1:21pm

      Camp Hill is ripe for being turned into a post-Victorian workhouse. It would fit into IWC policies of reducing social benefits and implementing the “Bedroom Tax”.

      Reply
  2. yjc's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

    6.Mar.2013 9:36pm

    105 acres of Parkhurst Forest was taken to build Camp Hill Prison one hundred years ago. Wouldn’t it be nice if the land was replanted with trees and the area returned to the forest? Give something back for a change!
    Of course I feel for the staff. The Minister who announced on Radio 4 that Camp Hill was closing said they would be building a huge new prison up North to cover the six prisons that were closing. To kill two birds with one stone – they could use the huge Vestas building that was paid for by Government grants and create more jobs on the island.

    Reply
  3. Don Smith's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    6.Mar.2013 10:15pm

    The POA again stand by and do nothing. They have lost what little clout they once had.

    No use blaming the MP, he’s just a puppet of the Government. You get what you vote for. Remember this in the future.

    Reply
    • mat's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

      7.Mar.2013 12:19pm

      The POA leadership is acting like the Grand Old Duke of York, they marched them up to Westminster Hill and they marched them back again. Those poor women who started a petition and got no promotion. The community, which will be ripped apart when the other prisons close. The lack of joined up working between the trade Unions because the local leadership has been duped by the National leadership and why? Because of EU roundtable Social Partnership, where privatised prisons have been agreed, superprisons on the mainland with guaranteed union membership and new staff. Group 4 security and other failing privatisers who want to profit from prisons. This what its all about and the Isle of Wight economy will once more be left high and dry with hundreds of jobs lost, hundreds of suppliers and contractors cut off locally and even the NHS will suffer. Well done politicians, Turner and Pugh. If the POA leadership had gone to the rest of the unions and asked the public for support and involved them, maybe Camp Hill would still be open.Instead they went on their own.

      Reply
  4. RJC's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    7.Mar.2013 9:13am

    Turn it into a novelty holiday camp. It would be ideal for expense fiddling MPs, dodgy councillors, tax avoiders or even that government department that sentenced us all to death when they deemed the population of the island expendable and sent the SARS victims here.

    Reply
  5. Seasidenanny's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    7.Mar.2013 12:25pm

    Or build a huge housing estate for the new EU incomers in 2014 who are already making enquiries at Island schools asking “what will they will be doing about interpreters for their children”?

    Reply

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