FORD PRISON RIOT: ‘End open regime’ call

Readers disgusted over cost to public purse of New Year’s Day riot.

THE cost of rebuilding Ford Open Prison, partly destroyed by rioting inmates earlier today, can only be justified if the prison is reclassified.

That is the view of fuming Midweek Herald readers.

Honiton pensioner Sheila McBrearty is so incensed, she has written to Prime Minister David Cameron while smoke is still billowing from the prison compound.

“Ford Open Prison will have to be re-built,” she said. “Millions will have to be spent anyway, so why not bite the bullet and re-build the site as a closed prison?

“We are constantly being told of prisons being overcrowded, so wouldn’t this be an excellent opportunity to re-assign Ford and provide more accommodation to secure those who should be inside but who are not because of the shortage of prison places?”

Mrs McBrearty added: “There seems to be plenty of acreage and what an excellent opportunity to provide employment for those seeking work to help construct a deep ditch and build a high wall as a first step?”

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The riot started shortly after midnight. It is reported that alcohol had been found in the prison and that inmates objected to being breath-tested.

Unions claim just two prison officers and four civilian staff were on duty at the time - a result of government spending cuts.

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