NEWS | Weekend riots predicted at Strangeways

February 10, 2012

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Prisoners have stated that they are being treated as "animals" by being made to stay in Travelodge rooms.

Riots are predicted at Strangeways over the forthcoming weekend after around 100 prisoners were moved in to the Travelodge next-door due to prisoner overcrowding. The Travelodge, which opened in 2011, is just a few hundred metres from the North Manchester jail.

Strangeways has an official capacity of 1269 prisoners but this number has been tested over the past 12 months after a dozens of Mancunians were handed down custodial sentences for offenses such as contemplating stealing a doughnut during the riots of 2011.

Earlier this week prison bosses took the drastic step of booking up half of all rooms at the budget ‘hotel’ until the end of March 2012 with the aim of housing up to 100 Category A prisoners.

“We knew it was a risk”, said Strangeways Governor Richard Vince.

“The Travelodge isn’t exactly up to the same standards as the jail but we stand by our assessment that the hotel rooms do meet the minimum required standards set out for the treatment of prisoners as per British law and the Geneva Convention. There were some initial problems we had to overcome, such as a lack of toiletries and the towels being under minimum prison sizes, but these have subsequently been resolved.”

“We are satisfied that the prisoners housed at the Travelodge will be perfectly comfortable until room at the jail can be found”, concluded Vince.

It seems that the majority of prisoners disagree. We spoke to Carl Jenkins who is serving a seven year sentence for armed robbery and assault and was moved to the Travelodge on Monday.

“It’s a fucking joke”, said Jenkins. “My breakfast is thrown against my door in a plastic bag. A stale croissant and what could possibly pass for cornflakes. I mean, seriously? We get hot food over the road and it’s handed to us on a tray. We’re not fucking animals.”

James Crossland, serving an eight month sentence for affray, believes that the hotel contravenes his human rights.

“I’ve hardly slept for four nights. I have one pillow that’s all of half an inch thick and my radiator is either set to hades or arctic. And the noise. For the love of God, the noise. I though Strangeways was loud but we’ve had night after night of hen parties coming back at 4am, shouting and hollering. One woman was singing that Here Comes The Girls song from that Boots advert at the top of her voice for over an hour in the corridor the other night whilst simultaneously being fingered by a guy in a dodgy hat playing loud music on his phone. It’s like mental torture.”

Prison wardens are geared up for a weekend of trouble after receiving intelligence that prisoners were set to show their unhappiness through violent protest. It is believed that prisoner David Chorlton, star of ITV’s fly on the wall documentary Strangeways is not among the prisoners moved to the hotel.

Travelodge’s Director of Operations Sarah Planter has revealed that the hotel chain welcomes the prisoners with open arms.

“The prisoners are actually a bit better behaved than our regular clientele”, she told News Manc. “And they certainly make less mess in the rooms.”

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2 Comments on “NEWS | Weekend riots predicted at Strangeways”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Travelodge, ha! Try staying in a Formule 1 hotel, then you’ll have something to complain about

    Reply

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