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HMP Thorn Cross: Decision to jail sex offenders near school scrapped

HMP Thorn Cross Image copyright Google
Image caption Signs for a school can be seen outside HMP Thorn Cross

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has decided not to go ahead with plans to house sex offenders in an open prison near a primary school.

The MoJ had said sex offenders would go to HMP Thorn Cross, near Appleton Thorn Primary School in Warrington, by 2019.

However, following criticism from the local council and police and crime commissioner (PCC), a spokesman said the plan would not progress.

Cheshire PCC David Keane said he hoped local residents "will be satisfied".

An MoJ spokeswoman said the department had recognised the "concerns of the community" and "having reflected on these, and the specific concern about the immediate proximity of... a primary school, we have reviewed the decision and will not progress with this change".

Warrington Borough Council's chief executive Prof Steve Broomhead said legal advice had been sought "to challenge the decision".

He said there had been "no consultation" with residents, the authority or "anyone within the wider community" about the decision.

Mr Keane said he was "pleased that the government has listened to the concerns of the local community... in regards to the impact this decision would have had on the local area".

"Over the past week, I have spoken to many local residents who expressed deep concern over this decision and I hope they will be satisfied with this outcome and will continue to feel safe in their community," he added.

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