AN INVESTIGATION by The Standard into HMP North Sea Camp open prison has revealed the offences which were committed by prisoners, including 66 counts of murder/attempted murder.
The figures, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request, have divided opinion – with some people concerned about high-level offences, while other sections of the community argue these inmates have been rehabilitated.
David Smith, of Fishtoft, said: “I can’t believe the number of prisoners in for offences of violent and/or sexual offences, especially those involving children.
“It beggars belief some of these people are allowed to come and go.”
Tracey Gedney, 30, of King Street, Boston, said she wanted to move after finding out the figures for the more serious offences.
She said: “They shouldn’t be in there, they should be in a locked-up prison where they can’t get out.”
But others claim the prisoners, many of whom are at the end of their sentences, make valuable contributions to the town.
Community cohesion officer for South Lincs CVS Mandy Exley has worked with the prison when organising events around Boston for the past six years.
She said: “In all the events we organise, we have never had a problem with anybody. They’re all-too willing to help.”
She added events such as the Community Showcase would not have happened without the prisoners’ help.
“We value them as much as they value the opportunities we give them,” she said.
Deputy governor at the Freiston Shore prison Alison Turner (pictured) moved to reassure people.
She said: “Prisoners located in open conditions have been rigorously risk assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public.”
She added open prisons have existed since 1936 and are the most effective means of ensuring prisoners are tested in the community before they are released.
Official figures show 14 prisoners absconded between June 2010 and June 2011.
FACTFILE: The prisoner numbers
Arson/Arson with Intent/Conspire to commit: 16
Burglary/Aggravated Burglary/Conspiracy to commit: 19
Robbery/Conspire to Rob/Attempted Robbery/Assault with intent to Rob: 45
Death by Dangerous or Reckless driving: 7
Dangerous Driving: 2
Kidnapping/Conspiracy to Kidnap/Abduction: 4
False Imprisonment: 2
Murder/Attempted Murder: 66
Rape/Attempted Rape: 28
Sexual Assault: 6
Sexual Activity or Sexual Assault/Offences involving children: 12
Trespass with intent to commit sexual offence: 1
Indecent Photographs: 1
Wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm (inc Attempting): 33
Grievous Bodily Harm/Grievous Bodily Harm with intent: 20
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm: 3
Using threatening behaviour: 1
Common Assault: 2
Possession of firearms with intent to endanger life: 7
Having firearm or offensive weapon in public: 5
Possession/Supply/Importing/Conspiracy to supply or Production of drugs: 39
Trafficking persons: 2
Other Immigration Offences: 2
Fraud/Conspiracy to Defraud/Deception: 11
Tax Evasion: 7
Attempting to pervert the course of justice: 2
Other Miscellaneous offences: 11.
l The numbers are the breakdown of prisoners at North Sea Camp listed by their main offence as at January 24, 2012.