By David Barrett Home Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:00 GMT, 6 January 2020 | Updated: 07:45 GMT, 7 January 2020
Prison wardens have been losing track of inmates inside one of Britain’s oldest jails, a report reveals today.
Winchester prison is harshly criticised for a series of failings – including errors which meant inmates were not ‘accounted for correctly’.
Officers sometimes had no way of knowing whether offenders were locked in their cells or were elsewhere in the 480-bed jail.
The team visited the jail just weeks before a riot, where prisoners dislodged bricks in crumbling cell walls with utensils from the canteen and bits of furniture, making 2ft wide holes. Then they went on the rampage, filming it on an illicit mobile phone
Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said he had considered asking the Justice Secretary to intervene after uncovering a series of problems at Winchester, which dates from 1849.
His team visited the jail just weeks before a riot which began after inmates dug their way out of cells with plastic cutlery.
They dislodged bricks in crumbling cell walls with utensils from the canteen and bits of furniture, making 2ft wide holes.
The chief inspector’s report found levels of violence were up and some cells were filthy and fly-infested. It described how violence had soared in the medium security Category B part of the jail since an inspection in 2016