South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa, has welcomed the ‘landmark’ changes announced today by the Secretary of State for Justice, The Rt. Hon Dominic Raab MP, which bring sweeping reforms to the Parole system in light of the recent case of the convicted child-rapist and killer Colin Pitchfork.
As part of the Government’s Root and Branch Review of the Parole System, the Justice Secretary has announced new powers that will allow Ministers to block the release of dangerous offenders over public protection concerns.
Mr Costa, who has long campaigned against the release of Colin Pitchfork, who murdered two teenage girls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, in his constituency in 1983 and 1986 respectively, has been lobbying for these changes following the release of Pitchfork in September last year.
The MP has been highly critical of the Parole Board’s actions in directing Pitchfork for release, especially after he was recalled to prison after only a matter of weeks due to serious concerns over his behaviour.
Mr Costa said, “I very much welcome the landmark changes to the Parole system as outlined by the Justice Secretary today. Given the deeply flawed nature of the Parole Board’s decision to release the convicted child-rapist and killer Colin Pitchfork, it is clear to many, my constituents included, that a greater degree of oversight is needed over decisions to release dangerous prisoners, and I am pleased that the Government have listened to my calls over the past few years, and have acted to ensure that Ministers will have the final say where public protection is concerned”.
Mr Costa added, “My concerns over the decision to release Colin Pitchfork were only underlined further following his recall to prison after only a few weeks.
“That decision and the public outcry that resulted, only underlined my intention to push for further changes to the Parole system, and I am pleased that the Government have now acted.
“The safety of the public must always be the primary consideration in these matters, and I greatly welcome this new level of oversight which will ensure dangerous offenders stay in prison for longer”.