Inside ‘Holiday Bay’ prison with more than 100 escapes as inmates ‘on the run’

A prison has been criticised for being too relaxed due to the number of inmates who manage to abscond.

HMP Hollesley Bay in Suffolk was dubbed "Holiday Bay" with a number of lags making their way out of the prison every year. Most recently, two prisoners allegedly managed to escape yesterday (Saturday, October 21) as police warned the public to not approach them, the Daily Star reported.

But trouble has been brewing at the "minimum security" category D prison since the turn of the century, with more than 100 prisoners having escaped from the confines of their cells since 2002. Criticism was levelled at the prison for its "astonishing" lack of security several years ago.

READ MORE: Two prisoners on the run from UK prison as police warn 'do not approach'

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And the issue appears to remain with Joshua Lewis Terry, 29, and Levi Mitchell, 39, reported missing from the prison at 7pm yesterday (Saturday, October 21). Prison bosses now fear the duo escaped and are at large in the public.

Terry had been serving two years and four months for affray while Mitchell had been behind bars for a slate of burglary offences. Both now join the long list of successful escapees from the jail, dubbed "Holiday Bay" by nearby residents.

Locals living near the jail previously slammed the prison for its relaxed security measures, East Anglian Daily Times reported. Security chiefs claim, however, there has been a decrease in escapes.

A prison service spokesman said at the time: "Extra CCTV, specialist searches and increased patrols are clamping down on drugs and offenders are fully risk assessed before being allowed out in the community. Absconds have also fallen at Hollesley Bay by two-thirds in the last decade."

Despite this, Terry and Mitchell are not the first lags to bust out of the prison this year. Burglar Roger Simons, violent lag Michael Cocksedge and Andrew Smith, who was serving an 18-year sentence, have also made a run for it from the jail.

Leslie Smith, 53, was also reported missing just last month. The convicted arsonist having vanished while on temporary release, ITV reported last month.

Another spate of escapes was reported last year, with murderer Christopher Mortimer and burglar Martin Cahill mounting getaway operations. Another escaped prisoner, Scott Chandler, had been sending "threats to kill" before being locked up in the prison. HMP Hollesley Bay struggled to contain him, however, as he was reported missing from a roll call back in 2020. It is believed Chandler managed to escape twice.

Figures from 2002 to October 2008 show a total of 129 prisoners escaped. On average, 18 prisoners a year managed to make a break from behind bars during the seven-year period.

The Daily Star has contacted the Ministry of Justice for comment.

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