Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, Matthew Ellis has welcomed the Government’s £100m boost to improve security and cut crime in prisons.
Mr Ellis, who spearheaded a regional PCC’s review into prisons across the West Midlands which was shared nationally earlier this year, said he was encouraged to see this investment into the prison system, which targeted key themes his report had identified. ‘The work we undertook in the Midlands on behalf of PCC colleagues took a warts and all look at crime behind bars over six months and made a number of recommendations to tackle criminality across the prisons estate. The Prime Minister’s announcement today is exactly right and picks up on many of the same themes we identified. Stopping weapons, drugs, phones and other contraband getting into prisons has to be a priority. ‘
The West Midlands regional group of PCCs, chaired by Mr Ellis, published the ‘Crime in Prisons: where now and where next?’ report in February, the result of a six-month study by criminologists at Stafford and Leicestershire universities.
The Commissioner visited prisons throughout the region, including eight in Staffordshire – one of the highest number of prisons in a single county across the country.
‘I saw dedicated people trying to do their best in impossible circumstances, because of the way the system works at present. This needs to change,’ he added.