HM Prison Belmarsh
|Location||Thamesmead, London, England|
|Security class||Adult Male/Category A|
|Population||910 (as of July 2008)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Belmarsh at justice.gov.uk|
HM Prison Belmarsh is a Category A men's prison, located in the Thamesmead area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, in south-east London, England. Belmarsh Prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service. Isis Prison and Thameside Prison are situated next to Belmarsh Prison.
Belmarsh Prison was built on part of the East site of the former Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, and became operational on 2 April 1991. Belmarsh is adjacent/adjoined to Woolwich Crown Court, which means the prison can be used for high profile cases (including those concerning national security).
Between 2001 and 2002 Belmarsh Prison was used to detain a number of people indefinitely without charge or trial under the provisions of the Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, leading it to be called the "British version of Guantanamo Bay". The law lords later ruled that such imprisonment was discriminatory and against the Human Rights Act.
It is often used for the detention of prisoners for terrorist related offences. In September 2006 the number of such prisoners was 51.
In November 2009, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons criticised the "extremely high" amount of force used to control inmates at the prison. The report also stated that an unusually high number of prisoners had reported being intimidated or victimised by staff at Belmarsh.
The prison today
Belmarsh is a Category A Prison holding prisoners from all over the United Kingdom. In addition Belmarsh is a local prison, accepting different categories of prisoners from primarily the Central Criminal Court and Magistrates' Courts in South East London. In addition the establishment serves Crown and Magistrates' Courts in South West Essex. Accommodation at the prison is a mixture of approximately 60% multi-occupancy cells and 40% single cells, distributed mainly across 4 residential units.
Inmates at Belmarsh are offered access to education, workshops, and 2 gyms (one focusing on Physical Education courses and one for recreational gym), with use of a sports hall and a fitness room. The gym staff also have a partnership with Charlton Athletic F.C. to deliver F.A. accredited coaching courses for prisoners.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
- Abu Hamza al-Masri, 2004: On 7 February 2006 Hamza was found guilty of 11 of the 15 charges he faced. He was sentenced to seven years to run concurrently for eight counts and 21 months for the others. He was extradited to the USA on the 5th of October 2012.
- Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 2005
- Jeffrey Archer, 2001: Archer wrote about his stay in Belmarsh in the first volume of A Prison Diary and used the setting extensively in his novel A Prisoner of Birth.
- Ian Huntley - Psychopathic pedophile and child killer who was held there during his trial that involve the Soham Murders before he was moved to HMP Wakefield.
- Dhiren Barot
- Ronnie Biggs
- Dave Courtney, November 2008
- Barry George
- Jonathan King
- Jonathan Aitken
- Paul Magee
- Lotfi Raissi, 2001
- Richard Tomlinson
- Steven Gerald James Wright
- UK DrinkOrDie Members, 2005
- Charles Bronson (prisoner)
- Curtis Warren: Removed from La Moye Prison in Jersey due to security risks. Will return to Jersey in December 2045 for sentencing.
- Damian Rzeszowski: Transferred from Jersey for killing 6 people including 3 children
- Rachid Ramda
- Stuart Hazell
- Asil Nadir Former CEO of Poly Peck PLC and billionaire businessman
- Gary Dobson and David Norris, both convicted of the Murder of Stephen Lawrence
- Colin Gunn
- Karl Bishop - A sociopathic murderer serving 20 years for murdering Harry Potter actor, Robert Knox, as well as wounding his friends outside a bar where the murder took place.
- Jake Fahri - A sociopathic killer who serving 14 years for murdering Jimmy Mizen. Friends with Karl Bishop at the prison.
- John Worboys
- Ramzi Mohammed
- Muktar Said Ibrahim
- Yasin Hassan Omar
- Belmarsh - Britain's Guantanamo Bay?
- Terror suspects to be freed from Belmarsh
- Tony McNulty Written Answers, 8 September 2006 col. 1701W Home Department - Terrorism
- "'High levels' of force at prison". bbc.co.uk. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- "Abu Hamza: from Soho bouncer to hook-handed cleric of hate." The Daily Telegraph. 10 April 2012. Retrieved on 5 June 2013.
- "He murdered his enemies. Now from his cell, Colin Gunn is murdering British justice by insisting on his 'human rights'". Daily Mail. 12 December 2011.