Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Are convicted prisoners being housed in Sittingbourne Police Station?

You read things in National Newspapers and the events seem some what distant but it seems a National Problem is on our door step.

Chief Superintendent Alasdair Hope
Mid Kent Area Commander
Police Station
Central Avenue
ME10 4NR 30th January 2007

Dear Alasdair
I have heard reports that Sittingbourne Police Station is currently being used to house convicted prisoners who would normally be found places within the prison system, but for whom no places are available because of the serious problem of overcrowding facing the Prison Service.

If these reports are true, I am concerned that police officers who would otherwise be patrolling the streets of Sittingbourne and Sheppey, are being detailed to guard those prisoners.

I would be grateful for answers to the following questions:-

1) Are convicted prisoners being housed in Sittingbourne Police Station?

2) If yes, how many police officers are needed to guard those prisoners?

3) Is the use of police officers as prison guards having any impact on your ability to properly police Sittingbourne and Sheppey?

4) What is the cost of housing prisoners and who meets that cost?

5) Has the Prison Service, or the Home Office given an indication of how long this situation might last?

Yours sincerely

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