Two more prisoners have gone on the run from an open prison, Cheshire police have said. The pair are the latest in a string of inmates who have escaped from prisons in recent weeks.
Anthony Peloe, 43, who was serving an indeterminate sentence for possessing firearms with intent to cause harm, and John Arnold, 30, a convicted robber, absconded from Thorn Cross open prison in Warrington, Cheshire, on Tuesday morning.
Public should not approach the prisoners, police said. "My advice to any member of the public who sees them is not to approach them, but to immediately ring police on 999," Superintendent Martin Cleworth of Warrington police said.
Two other prisoners, Damien Burns, 39, and Dean Jackson, 27, are missing from the category D Hatfield Prison, the police revealed on Tuesday.
Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright has said the current system for allowing prisoners out on temporary licence is "too lax", after a murderer and a robber failed to return to their prison in Liverpool.
Wright said he will make "major changes" to address the shortfalls in the system.
He said: "There will shortly be significant restrictions on who is granted temporary release – which from now on must be earnt – tightening up of monitoring arrangements and abolishing any leave without a clear link to rehabilitation."
More than 50 inmates reportedly took over part of a prison wing. The incident broke out at HMP Northumberland in Morpeth at around 7.30pm yesterday.
Prison Officers Association general secretary Steve Gillan told the BBC that there was a stand-off. He said last night: "We do not know what has sparked this major incident, but I do know that 50 plus inmates have taken over a wing," he said.
"We have teams from other establishments trained to deal with riots on their way. There is concerted indiscipline and our officers will try to contain it."
A spokesman for Sodexo, which operates the prison, said the situation has now been resolved and an investigation is due to be carried out into the incident.
Inmates are reported to have taken over part of a prison wing. Officials at HMP Northumberland confirmed a "disturbance" was under way, but dismissed as "speculation" the suggestion of a stand-off between inmates and guards.
A spokesman for Sodexo, which operates the prison, said: "We can confirm there is a disturbance at HMP Northumberland.
"It is confined to part of one wing of the prison and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."
The incident has been ongoing since around 7.30pm. The Sodexo spokesman added: "It is not quite resolved yet."
Prison guards found a mobile phone hidden in a box of hollowed out Weetabix.
Several of the breakfast cereal biscuits had been cut through the middle leaving a hollow where the phone was stashed.
The phone and doctored cereal were then carefully repackaged before being sent to a prisoner.
Inmates are not allowed mobile phones in prison and must use public payphones.
Prison staff should receive specific training on how to support women, a report has suggested, after it was claimed women prisoners are "vulnerable to abuse".
Chris Sheffield, chair of the Commission on Sex in Prison, said:
Women in prison are particularly vulnerable and more likely than men to have a history of being a victim of violence or sexual abuse.
It is important that policies recognise these differences and are developed in order to protect the vulnerable.
It is equally important that staff in women's prisons receive specific training on working with women.
Women prisoners are "vulnerable" to abuse in prison with some coerced into sex with staff in return for favours such as cigarettes or alcohol, campaigners have warned.
The findings are published in the second briefing paper from the Commission on Sex in Prison, which was established by the Howard League.
The report suggests prison staff need training and guidance on how to support women, recognise bullying and identify relationships between prisoners.
With 81% behind bars for non-violent crimes, more support for female prisoners is needed, the new justice minister tells Daybreak.Read the full story ›
Government cuts could be behind half of convicted sex attackers, violent criminals and burglars avoiding prison sentences, Labour said.
Some of these crimes are so serious and violent that members of the public rightly expect them to lead to a prison sentence.
One of the concerns is that this is being done in order to save money. Justice done on the cheap like this risks prisoners reoffending rather than being reformed, which means more victims and misery.
This will be an insult to many victims of crime who want to see those who committed crimes against them properly punished and rehabilitated.
Ministers have been accused of insulting victims after it emerged that half of convicted sex attackers, violent criminals and burglars are avoiding prison sentences.
Thousands of serious criminals have walked free from court, including 46% of paedophiles who abused children aged under the age of 13.
Some 49% of those convicted of sexual assault in 2012 - 2,324 offenders - did not receive a custodial sentence, and nor did many burglars and drug dealers.
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, who used parliamentary questions to obtain the statistics, said Government cuts were undermining the system.
"This will be an insult to many victims of crime who want to see those who committed crimes against them properly punished and rehabilitated," he told the Daily Telegraph.