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.
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.
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.