AN MP has demanded answers after two murderers escaped from Ford Prison.
Nick Gibb, the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, expressed concern over the escape of two convicted killers from the category C open prison in the last two months.
He has written a letter to justice secretary Chris Grayling demanding a copy of the risk assessment conducted by the Department of Justice.
Mr Gibb said: “These two episodes put local residents at risk and seriously damage confidence in the prison service’s stewardship of Ford Prison.
“When prisoners convicted of serious offences such as murder abscond from Ford Prison it raises serious doubts about the rigour and professionalism of the way prisoners are allocated to the prison.
“It is important, therefore, that the government is able to provide assurance that measures have been put in place to improve the risk assessment of prisoners being sent to Ford Prison.”
Police are still searching for 48-year-old Derek Passmore, who absconded from Ford on June 22. He was serving a life sentence for the murder of a man in Middlesex, in October 1996.
A second inmate, Paul Flint, 48, also walked out of the prison on July 1.
Flint, jailed in 1990, was believed to be a suspect in a number of crimes in Brighton and Hove and had convictions for murder and burglary.
Mr Gibb’s letter says this is the second time Flint had absconded from an open prison, having previously run from Hollesley Bay Prison, in June, last year.
Mr Gibb has submitted three questions to Mr Grayling asking why Flint was transferred to Ford, what the risk assessment process was and how many prisoners in total have absconded from Ford since January, 2011.
Andrew Isaac, chairman of the independent monitoring board at Ford, said he was confident the prison was doing everything it could to limit absconds.
He said: “As far as Ford is concerned, I am confident that the management takes risk assessment very seriously and those few who do abscond are most unlikely to be any threat at all to the local community.”