UK: If only our prisons really were like hotels: How ‘Crown immunity’ is hobbling efforts to improve fire safety in the HM Prison Service


"In June 2014 Peter Kimberley, the owner of the New Kimberley Hotel in Blackpool, was jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay £5,243 in costs after being found guilty of 15 breaches of fire safety regulations.

His 90 room hotel, when inspected by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, was found to have fire exits blocked with combustible material, fire doors were locked shut, and there was insufficient water available to fight fires.

The New Kimberley Hotel, described in court as ‘a death trap’, was shut down.

But Mr Kimberley wasn’t a bad chap – just an unlucky one in his choice of career.

If instead of being a hotelier Mr Kimberley had been the Governor of a prison where exactly the same, and worse, fire safety failures had been discovered, he would not have even been arrested.

Certainly he could never have been charged, tried, convicted and sent to his own jail – because every prison in England and Wales is immune from prosecution when it comes to fire safety."

See: UK: If only our prisons really were like hotels: How ‘Crown immunity’ is hobbling efforts to improve fire safety in the HM Prison Service (IFSEC Global, link)

 

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