Criminals break into Sudbury Prison and steal tools

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By elksie | Thursday, May 19, 2011, 13:04

BURGLARS cut through a perimeter fence – to break into Sudbury prison.

The brazen crooks then forced open the door of a workshop and made off with metalwork tools used in workshops by prisoners.

Staff at the open prison – which is home to 581 inmates – discovered the break-in when they arrived for work.

Police are now investigating, but there was still a hole in one of the perimeter fences on Tuesday.

One prisoner, returning from day release to Sudbury, said: "Everyone will find this hilarious".

Another

inmate, also returning from day release, said: "How can they be

expected to keep the prisoners in if they can't keep the burglars out?"

The thieves got away with oxy-acetylene cylinders, hoses, tools and a trolley.

The break-in was reported to police shortly before 9am on Monday.

Councillor

Albert Catt, who represents Doveridge and Sudbury on Derbyshire Dales

District Council, said: "This must be highly embarrassing for the prison

authority, but I don't think the local population will be unduly

concerned because we know what a good job the workers do there.

"The prison is a low security one, so you can walk up to the fence.

"I have been to the prison about a dozen times and as a community,

"I don't think we feel threatened by the prison.

"In fact, a lot of the inmates do a lot of good voluntary work around the village."

A Prison Service spokesman said: "There was a break-in at one of the workshops at HMP Sudbury.

"This is now a matter for the police."

The prison was built as a hospital for the U.S. Air Force for the D-Day landings, but was converted to a prison in 1948.

It has 213 single rooms and 175 double rooms.

The open jail has come under fire in recent years over the number of inmates going on the run from it.

It

was criticised by the Prison Officers' Association in August last year

after an inmate serving 12 years for manslaughter failed to return from

day release.

But in September, a report released following an

inspection carried out by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons commended the

jail for its falling numbers of absconders.

Between April and September 2010, the most recent figures available, 18 inmates absconded.

In the year 2009-10, 28 inmates absconded, with 24 going on the run in 2008-9.

Derbyshire police has confirmed it is investigating the burglary.

Witnesses or anyone with information about the incident should call Derbyshire police on 0345 1233333.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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  • Profile image for Jim_Ryan

    "One prisoner, returning from day release to Sudbury, said: Everyone will find this hilarious." ... You're not wrong mate - this is like something out of the annals of Norman Stanley Fletcher! Hilarious!

    By Jim_Ryan at 18:46 on 19/05/11

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