The current Prison in Jamestown is believed to be around 180 years old and is no longer appropriate as a Prison, both for the staff who work there and the prisoners who are held there. A new site has been identified and planning consent approved for a new Prison at Sundale in Half Tree Hollow.
This plan has been approved by Elected Members and is crucial in the development of the Prison Service on St Helena. During the planning phase, the local community in the area of Sundale voiced their concerns at the choice of the site for a new Prison and this was raised during consultation and through Elected Members.
Whilst the plans were approved, the concerns were acknowledged and taken into account. Now that work will shortly start at Sundale, in order to provide information and reassurance to the public, a communications and engagement strategy has been developed. It should be emphasised that the work in relation to the strategy is not further consultation as to the decision to site the Prison in Half Tree Hollow but it is to allow concerns to be raised by the local community and information to be made available regarding the progress of the development.
A Liaison Officer (Acting Prison Manager, Nicholas Crowie) has been identified and will be the point of contact for the community to raise any concerns about the project. The following email address can be used to raise any concerns regarding the project as it develops and moves forward: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, the following activity is planned to keep the local community informed and updated with the development and relocation of the new Prison:
- Letter drop to residences around Sundale – April 2015 and as required
- Access to the plans and to senior Prison staff by the local community to discuss the Prison and alleviate any concerns through an Open Evening at the local community centre – May 2015
- Access to the Prison itself (at an appropriate time) during the build process and on completion to see the facilities and security arrangements – To be confirmed once the development is underway
- Ongoing public meetings during the build phase – Quarterly commencing from May 2015
- A security plan will be developed as the project nears completion but it is too early at this stage to have a completed plan in place. Safeguarding will of course be a specific area within the Security Plan.
Local residents or anyone else across St Helena are encouraged to make contact with Nicholas Crowie if they have any questions or concerns about the development of Sundale. The Police Directorate is committed to keeping local residents informed of progress throughout the development and, in due course, allow the local community to see the facilities and security for themselves.
Details of the events outlined above will be circulated in due course.
Chief of Police, Trevor Botting
28 April 2015