It is home to some of the most dangerous young offenders but today a damning report has criticised the Aylesbury Young Offenders Institution. It says the prison is unsafe, with high levels of violence and a shortage of staff.
- The Buckinghamshire unit can hold up to 444 young people between the ages of 18 and 21.
- At the time of the inspection, there were 377 prisoners.
- One in 3 are serving more than ten years or life behind bars.
- Concerns were raised over the levels of gangs and access to drugs
The Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons, Martin Lomas, says that Aylesbury has deteriorated and is failing to provide training and education for young offenders.
"A dire, dangerous and disasterous prison." That's how inspectors have described Aylesbury Young Offenders Institute.
Levels of violence have increased and staff shortages have caused problems.
Managers say they're putting an action plan in place.
ITV Meridian spoke to Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons, Martin Lomas.
A damning report on the Young Offenders Institution in Aylesbury has highlighted concerns about high levels of violence, a lack of purposeful activity and staff shortages. The report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons follows an unannounced inspection to the facility in Buckinghamshire.
HMYOI Aylesbury, a training prison, holds up to 444 young adult men aged 18 to 21 who are serving among the longest sentences for this age group in the country. Over 80% of those held are serving more than four years and 30% are serving more than 10 years to life.
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
· Aylesbury was not safe enough: levels of violence were high and some incidents were serious;
· although some useful work was being done to address gang affiliations and to combat violence, much more needed to be done.
· the long periods of lock-up and inactivity most prisoners experienced caused frustrations that contributed to the likelihood of violence and aggression;
· the quality of the environment was mixed as was the quality of staff-prisoner relationships, undermined by the numbers of temporary staff;
· the management of learning and skills was weak, many classes and workshops were closed owing to staff shortages; and the quality of teaching needed improvement;
· staff shortages were undermining offender management with heavy caseloads, a backlog of risk assessments and some limited sentence planning.
However, inspectors were pleased to find that security was managed adequately and intelligence was managed well, but drug usage was double the target. Although the number of prisoners who had self-harmed was high and worse than in similar prisons, some prisoners spoke highly of the care staff provided. Offending behaviour work was impressive with some innovative and encouraging initiatives being introduced.
Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: "The population at Aylesbury presents risks but it is reasonably stable. The purpose and function of the prison was clear but the prison was uncertain about how to deliver its core functions in a coherent and joined-up way. Trust was too limited and relationships unpredictable. There was too little to motivate young men, or to encourage their personal investment in their futures while at the prison."
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, said: "Staffing shortfalls have had a serious impact on the quality of the regime provided at Aylesbury. We are recruiting more staff and have put an action plan in place to address the recommendations made by the Chief Inspector in this report. The Governor will receive the support he needs to urgently improve the prison over the coming months."
Trains are not stopping at London Underground stations on Chiltern Railway between Aylesbury and Marylebone until 9.35am today because of industrial action industrial action.
The first train to call at all London Underground stations will be the 9:35am from Aylesbury and the 9:42am from London Marylebone.
The revised service on Chiltern Railway between Aylesbury and Marylebone means that before 9:30am, trains from Aylesbury will run via High Wycombe with two shuttles connecting passengers from Great Missenden to Aylesbury. From around approx 7:00am, services from Aylesbury will run non-stop from Great Missenden.
A pensioner has been saved by his wife after falling into a well at their home in Aylesbury.
Seventy five year old John Ridgway dropped headfirst into the hole, but managed to cling on for dear life. His wife Eileen came outside to find his feet sticking up in the air. Kate Bunkall takes up the story.
Thames Valley Police is appealing for the public’s help in tracing a teenager missing from her home in Aylesbury.
Sanah Hussain, aged 17, was last seen at Weedon Road in Aylesbury at 10pm last night.
She is described as Asian, 5ft 6ins, medium build with very long black hair.
“We are extremely concerned for Sanah, this is very out of character for her to go missing like this. We would urge anyone who may have seen her or knows of her whereabouts to contact us as a matter of urgency so we can ensure she is safe. As well as Aylesbury, Sanah is also known to have links in High Wycombe and London.”
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Police have launched a fresh appeal for information over an unsolved murder, which happened twenty years ago today.
John Sheppard was stabbed in a betting shop in Aylesbury, but the killer was never found.
Detectives say new forensic evidence has now come to light:
Thames Valley Police is appealing for the public’s help in tracing a teenage boy missing from his home in Aylesbury, but who may also be in Reading.
Tommy Lewis, aged, 14, was last seen at Aylesbury Railway Station at around 3pm on Monday when he said he was going to visit a friend in Reading. He was due back at home in Weedon at 9pm the same day but failed to return.
Tommy is described as white, slim, 5ft 3ins. He was wearing a large blue Puffa-style jacket, blue tracksuit bottoms, a white Polo Ralph Lauren T-shirt and Nike Air Max trainers in blue, white and black.
Officers are increasingly concerned for Tommy as he has been missing for more than 24 hours. It is believed he is as likely to be in Reading as Aylesbury and would urge anyone who knows him or his whereabouts to contact Thames Valley police via 101 as a matter of urgency.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote URN1581 24/11.