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Police attack Alsop

Will Alsop's highly controversial 'five-star' prison scheme for Birmingham has been branded 'bloody obscene' by West Midlands Police.

Paul Tonks, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, has lashed out at Alsop's scheme ( pictured), claiming it would fuel Britain's crime culture.

'Prison should be a place for people to be incarcerated. What incentive is there for people not to want to go back? I hope this scheme ends up in the nearest shredder. It's a disgrace.

'It's because of people like Alsop that we have the kind of society we have today,' said Tonks.

Alsop's HMP Paterson scheme, named after the penal reformer Alexander Paterson, would feature tennis courts, swimming pools, football pitches and manicured gardens. There would even be space for prisoners to play lawn bowls.

Facilities would be strategically sited around a cluster of 'micro-cell-blocks'. These would house around 12 prisoners with access to state-of-the-art kitchens, common rooms and balconies.

Tonks added: 'If this bloody obscene scheme gets the go-ahead then heaven help this country. The prisons are overflowing and we have people who should be in prison wandering the street because prisoners don't mind being inside when things like colour TVs are offered.

'I know that civil libertarians will oppose me but I am on firm ground.'

The scheme is the result of a competition run by penal reform group, Rideout. Alsop defended his proposal insisting the design emphasised rehabilitation over punishment and security.

by Clive Walker

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