Disruption threat to Scottish programme

Sex crimes in Scotland could rise if the
Scottish executive goes ahead with plans to close Peterhead Prison,
Aberdeenshire Council is warning.

Earlier this year, the executive
announced it planned to close the unit and move the 300 sex
offenders housed there to prisons in central Scotland where most of
the men originate. But Aberdeenshire Council, whose area includes
Peterhead, has sought advice on the decision from a range of people
including the former head of the Scottish prison service Peter

McKinlay has voiced concern that
Peterhead’s renowned Stop programme, which works with sex
offenders, would be adversely affected. Opposing the planned move,
he said: “I don’t believe that the transfer of the Stop programme
to other prisons could be achieved without serious disruption and
risk of increased offences.” McKinlay has recommended that a new
purpose-built unit is constructed on the present site, which could
house all of the estimated 500 sex offenders in prison in

executive’s plans, which include the closure of two state-run
prisons, will produce an estimated saving of £700m.

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