Home Office Watch

If you are interested in the national issues of crime, immigration, ID cards and passports, the Liberal Democrats have a new website called Home Office Watch that keeps a close on what the Home Office is doing…

For example:

There?s something of a prison staff crisis in many of our prisons, figures released this morning show. Belmarsh is 57 officers short – meaning more than 1 in 10 posts is vacant.

Other prisons facing problems are Manchester, Woodhill, Chelmsford, Wakefield and Frankland, all with over 30 vacancies. For Chelmsford that?s 13% of the staff.

This comes on top of serious problems with staff recruitment for the proposed new prison in Kennet, Merseyside. John Reid tells us they?ve only recruited 30 staff so far. At the end of January, the Home Office took the Prison Officers? Association to court for apparently encouraging industrial action prompted in part by the Kennet proposals, which the POA believe (and here) could make staffing shortages worse.

It?s all getting pretty messy, that?s for sure.