Woman locks herself to gates of Wrexham prison site by the neck
Read the mainstream media article on an action that took place in Wrexham this morning. For more info on the prison, read here.
The woman is blocking one entrance to the site at Wrexham industrial estate.
Police are at the scene.
It is believed campaign groups Community Action on Prison Expansion (CAPE) and Prison Abolition UK are behind the demonstration which is part of a “week of action” against the £212m project.
The main day of action for North Wales was planned for tomorrow with campaigners due to meet at Colwyn Bay train station at 11.30am to “target” companies and businesses involved with the prison development.
A statement on the CAPE website says: “The state are currently building Europe’s second biggest prison in Wrexham, North Wales.
“It’s part of a bigger agenda of prison expansion and social control and must be resisted.
“We can slow and stop its construction and send a message to the industry that we will not stand by as our communities are incarcerated.”
When the Daily Post approached the Ministry of Justice for a comment, a Prison Service spokesperson said: “The new prison at Wrexham will be a safe, decent and secure place to hold prisoners.
“It will allow us to transfer prisoners from ageing and ineffective buildings into new accommodation which offers far better opportunities to develop the work, education and life skills needed for effective rehabilitation.
“It will also give a huge boost to the local economy, with the project set to benefit the region by around £23m a year and create up to 1,000 jobs once operational.”
Construction work of the prison, which is due to open in 2017 on the former Firestone factory site, got under way earlier this year.
Once open, it will be big enough to house 2,100 inmates.
The “flagship” jail site is so big you could fit the Millennium Stadium in it seven times over with room to spare.
The huge facility will have three blocks in total – housing category C prisoners and a small percentage of Category B – along with 12 workshops, an education block, health centre, pharmacy, gym, sports hall and football pitch, and re-settlement and multi-faith units.
The prison has been described as being at the “heart” of the UK Government’s “rehabilitation revolution”.
Supt Alex Goss said: “North Wales Police are aware that a group of protesters have gathered at North Wales Prison construction site in Pentre Maelor, Wrexham.
“We have a responsibility to allow peaceful protest and to maintain public order to ensure public safety and uphold the law.
“We are monitoring the situation and are in contact with all parties concerned and at this time the protest is being policed proportionately and appropriately.”