UK’s biggest prison on verge of full capacity

folder_openCivic & Public Sector, High Security

The biggest prison in the UK should reach full capacity soon – with construction work on track to end next month to allow the opening of the third and final wing.

The first prisoners were moved to HMP Berwyn in Wrexham on 28 February into the Bala wing, the first of three, all designed ultimately to house 702 prisoners.

The second, Alwen, opened last month, with Ministry of Justice (MoJ) bosses confirming the third and final wing, Ceiriog, is on schedule to open next month, bringing the total capacity of adult male offenders to 2,106 – 500 more than the biggest current prison in England and Wales was built to hold

The majority will be Category C, meaning they have been assessed as having a lower likelihood of escaping, though some Category B prisoners could also be accommodated.

Governor Russ Trent has said his emphasis is on rehabilitation, with staff calling the prisoners ‘men’, who will have ‘rooms’ rather than cells.

The construction of HMP Berwyn began in May 2015 and cost £250m.

The UK government has pledged to spend £1.3bn on new prisons, and after the riots in HMP Birmingham last year, Justice Secretary Liz Truss said the new Welsh prison ‘would help reduce overcrowding across the estate’.  Nine more new prisons are expected to be built, with five open by 2020.

Binns Fencing won the order to supply and install almost 2km of 5.2m high prison-standard secure perimeter fencing for the Wrexham super-prison.  Manufacturer Zaun supplied the MoJ approved prison posts and fencing mesh.

Binns has proposed new perimeter security and PIDs procurement and delivery model. It provides a single point of contact for the complete perimeter security package, providing greater opportunity for innovation, reducing complexity, and managing multiple contractors.

It believes this could offer significant cost savings on PIDs cable installation and contract and project management costs.

HMP Berwyn is already anticipated to be the cheapest prison to run per prisoner in England and Wales.  It is expected to run at £14,000 per head per year, including overheads, compared with £40,170 at Parc in Bridgend, built under the government’s Private Finance Initiative and operated by G4S.

About Zaun

Zaun is the only in-house British Manufacturer of Woven and Welded Mesh Fencing Systems. For 27 years, they have been the trusted manufacturing partner for sports and physical perimeter security. With a wide range of fencing, gate, and HVM solutions they can offer Protection Through Innovation for your next project.

Located in the West Midlands, they are a privately owned company first formed in 1996 and continuing to promote British manufacturing on the world stage. A proud member of Made in Britain and Made in the West Midlands, Zaun has worked on numerous projects around the world from Border Security and Airports, to Sports and Critical National Infrastructure.

The continued investment in their manufacturing processes and systems has enabled the latest in problem-solving and innovation. At the same time, an approach to ‘The Right People in the Right Places’ puts the customer experience at the heart of their business.

The quality of their wide range of systems is assured through ISO 9001 and third-party certification for high-security and HVM solutions including LPS 1175, Secured by Design, Approved for UK Government Use (NPSA), and PAS 68.

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