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PRISON BUILDINGS SHOULD BE PRESERVED

At Camp Hill with Bob Smith - Governor in charge of decommissioningThe Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, was given a tour of the now empty Camp Hill prison site by Bob Smith, Governor in charge of the decommissioning shortly before its closure last week. 

It is planned that a number of historical artefacts from Camp Hill, such as the Roll of Governors and various plaques, will be displayed at Albany House.  The site has now been handed over to the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Turner said: “I was very keen to look around Camp Hill before the keys were handed over.  Walking around the now empty prison was very strange and rather sad. What people often don’t realise is that by their very nature prisons are closed off from the outside world, so they become very tight-knit communities, and I know this is a very difficult time for all staff concerned.

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“I am very pleased that Bob Smith has taken plenty of photographs so there will be a permanent record of Camp Hill for future generations and there are many interesting books and records which will be of interest to local historians.  In 2004 I was invited to open the new resettlement centre – and we found the plaque commemorating that in a pile of memorabilia.  There are no plans published as yet about what the site will be used for, but there are a number of interesting buildings such as the gate-house and the chapel which I hope will be preserved – whatever the future holds.

“I have recently had meetings with HMP Isle of Wight Governor, Andy Lattimore and representatives of both the PCS and the Prison Officers Association.  Following those meetings I am raising further issues with Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright MP.”

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