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  1. Abigail Bracken

Overcrowding in Kent and Sussex prisons

Three out of four men's prisons are holding more inmates than they were designed for, new figures have revealed.

In many cases this has led to prisons having to 'double-up' or 'treble-up' the numbers of prisoners held in a cell, according to the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Three jails in Kent and Sussex are significantly overcrowded - in Lewes, Maidstone and Elmley on the Isle of Sheppey, while one prison in Canterbury was closed, putting pressure on other jails.

Abigail Bracken has the story.

Sheppey crossing closed because of high winds

The A249 has been closed in both directions due to high winds between B2005 Grovehurst Road (Iwade / Kemsley Turn Off) and B2231 Lower Road / Sheppey Way (Leysdown Turn Off).


Prisoners involved in 'disturbance' at HMP Elmley

HMP Elmley

A disturbance broke out at Sheppey's HMP Elmley last night, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

Specialist officers were called to deal with an issue of "concerted indiscipline" involving around 25 prisoners in one wing of the prison.

(It) began at 4.20pm on Saturday 15 November and was peacefully resolved at 11.45pm.

There were no reported injuries to staff or prisoners. The prison will carry out an investigation with a view to taking action against those responsible.

– Ministry of Justice spokesperson

Last night's incident follows the death of prisoner Levi Smith, who was found dead in his cell last week.

That was the same day the prison received a damning report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

Man absconds from prison on the Isle of Sheppey

Sabul Miah reportedly absconded from Standford Hill Prison Credit: Kent Police

Police are appealing for information after a man reportedly absconded from Standford Hill Prison on the Isle of Sheppey.

Police were altered to the incident at 1.10pm on Thursday, 23 October 2014.

Enquiries are on-going to locate Sabul Miah, who is 39-years-old. Miah is described as being Asian, 5’9” tall, of thin build with brown eyes, black hair and a ‘stubbly’ beard. When he was last seen he was wearing baggy blue jeans.

If anyone sees Sabul Miah, or is aware of his whereabouts, do not approach him and contact police on 999 quoting reference 23*654.

If you have information about where he may be please dial 101.

Plea to improve safety on Sheppey Bridge

More than 100 cars were involved in a huge pile up a year ago Credit: ITV Meridian

Councillors representing the Isle of Sheppey will tonight make a formal plea to improve safety on the Sheppey Bridge. Dozens were injured and more than 100 cars damaged in a huge pile-up on the bridge last year.

A paper is being presented to the Swale Joint Transportation Board meeting in Sittingbourne asking for the speed limit to be lowered and for speed cameras to be installed.

Calls for safety improvements one year on from Sheppey crash

More than 100 people were involved in the crash on Sheppey Bridge Credit: ITV Meridian

It's one year since more than 100 cars were involved in a pile-up on the Sheppey Bridge in Kent.

And there are still calls for safety improvements on the bridge. Councillors want speed cameras and a lower speed limit.

More than 100 people were involved in the crash on Sheppey Bridge Credit: ITV Meridian


Calls for safety review on the Sheppey Bridge a year after crash

Councillors are demanding an urgent review of safety on the Sheppey Bridge, a year after a pile-up involving more than 100 cars.

They plan to present a paper next week to the group that monitors local transport policy. They want speed cameras to be installed, and for the limit to be lowered from seventy to fifty miles an hour.

In July a mother and son were killed follwing another crash. The local MP has criticised the Highways Agency for failing to act. Watch Derek Johnson's report.

1,000 tonnes of baled hay up in flames in barn fire

Flames inside the barn this morning Credit: Keith Tucker

About 1,000 tonnes of baled hay went up in flames at a farm on the Isle of Sheppey this morning. Fire crews were called Queenborough in the early hours . Two crews worked to stop the flames spreading and nobody was hurt. The site is now back in the care of the owner of the property.

Sheppey Crossing closed southbound following crash

Kent Police were called to reports of a collision on the Sittingbourne bound carriageway of the Sheppey Crossing at 2.37pm, involving a car and a van.

South East Coast Ambulance service were also at the scene. They say a male patient in his 30s, suffered a medical episode and reversed into the van behind him. He was taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital. The other driver is not believed to be injured.

Disabled woman robbed of her walking frame

Kent Police is appealing for information after a disabled woman was robbed of her walking frame on the Isle of Sheppey. On 12th July, the victim - a woman in her 60s - was at the bus stop along Minster Road when two men holding cans of lager walked up to her.

They made derogatory comments to her about her disability and as they walked past, one reached out and punched her on the arm, causing her to fall over.

The pair then grabbed her walking frame and ran off with it, running down the road and disappearing down an alleyway.

The woman cut her arm when she fell and was left shocked and distressed.

This was a revolting act of mindless aggression against a vulnerable lady who cannot walk far without the aid of her frame. To verbally abuse and belittle her is low enough but to knock her down and steal the frame, leaving her helpless on the ground, is truly despicable and I'm sure the entire community shares our disgust. We are following up a number of lines of enquiry in relation to this and would welcome any information from the public.'

– Detective Sergeant Martin Carter of Kent Police
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