Hunt for violent escaped Category B prisoner

Haroon Ahmed
Haroon Ahmed

Police are hunting for a prisoner convicted of a violent robbery who has escaped.

Haroon Ahmed, 26, from the Derby area, escaped from HMP Dovegate, near Marchington, Staffordshire, at around 4.15pm on Wednesday, Staffordshire Police said.

Due to his violent conviction police advise members of the public not to approach him but to instead ring 999.

He is described as Asian, 6ft tall with a thin build and short black hair in a crew cut.

He was wearing jeans and a grey t-shirt but police say it is likely he has changed his clothing.

The force suspect Ahmed is in the Derby area where he has numerous connections.

Officers involved in the search for him arrested his brother, Majeed Ahmed, 25, of Clarence Road, Derby, on Thursday, and have charged him with assisting a prisoner in escaping from prison.

He has been released on bail to appear before magistrates in Burton on June 25.

A black Volkswagen Golf was also recovered as part of the investigation and has been subject to a detailed forensic examination.

HMP Dovegate
HMP Dovegate

opened in 2001, Serco manage HMP Dovegate on a 25 year contract as a category B prison holding over 1060 male adult prisoners over the age of 21 all serving a range of sentences including trial, remand, awaiting sentence and convicted men serving over four years to life.

Dovegate, in Staffordshire, provides education – literacy, numeracy, IT and vocational skills – healthcare, industrial work opportunities, drug and alcohol counselling, accredited and non-accredited offender behaviour courses aimed at reducing criminogenic risk and thereby aiding release and resettlement of offenders

The prison also includes a separate 200-bed Therapeutic Community for repeat serious offenders. The unit, the only privately-run one in the UK and the only purpose-built therapeutic facility, offers its residents daily group therapy, which lasts between 18 months and 24 months.

In September 2009 the prison expanded by nearly a third to accommodate a further 260 prisoners with a new activity building, training rooms, workshops, and housing units, resulting in the current 1060 average prisoner population.

Mark Leech, editor of The Prisons Handbook said the escape could cost the private prisons company hundreds of thousands of pounds in contractual fines.

Mr Leech said: “This is a very serious escape from a Category B prison – our second highest level of prison security,

“Serco who manage the prison will now face fines that could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds for their failure to prevent the escape and it could seriously effect any future contract bids they choose to make.”