Posted on Friday 27th July

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has today (Friday 27 July) brought together key partners to discuss the government’s decision to house sex offenders in an open prison in Warrington.

The Ministry of Justice communicated earlier this week that HMP Thorn Cross would be authorised to accept category D men convicted of sexual offences from the end of this year.

David Keane called the meeting at short notice inviting key stakeholders - including elected representatives, the local authority, the prison and local school - following significant concern from the community.

The meeting, held at Stockton Heath Police Station, provided an opportunity for partners to come together to discuss their concerns around the decision, which was made without any consultation with local stakeholders.

Representatives from across the community attended and agreed to work together to ensure a collective position can be taken in response to the government.

David said: “It is clear to see from the response I’ve received from members of the public since the decision was communicated on Tuesday that there are serious concerns in regards to the impact this could have on the local community.

“I am yet to hear from the government in response to my call for an urgent meeting to discuss why the prison has been chosen so in the meantime, I wanted to bring key representatives together as soon as possible to share their initial concerns before we come together to formulate next steps.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with key agencies and other elected representatives, including the local MP Faisal Rashid, borough councillors and parish councillors, to represent the concerns of the community to ensure the government really addresses the issues raised before further implementation of this decision.”