HM Prison North Sea Camp

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HMP North Sea Camp
Location Freiston, Lincolnshire
Security class Adult Male/Category D
Population 378 (as of April 2011)
Opened 1935
Managed by HM Prison Services
Governor Paul Yates
Website North Sea Camp at

HM Prison North Sea Camp is a men's open prison (Category D), located on the edge of the parish of Freiston (near Boston) in Lincolnshire, England. North Sea Camp is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


North Sea Camp opened as a Borstal in 1935, having been established by a group of Borstal Trainees who had been marched cross-country from Stafford.[1] They set up a campsite, and immediately began work building a sea wall to protect the site from the North Sea. Once this was complete, they began reclaiming land by building a further sea wall - that land then became the prison farm. Until the sale of adjacent land in 2004, the prison had the biggest prison farm in the United Kingdom, much of which was on land reclaimed from The Wash.

In August 2006, the BBC reported that 49 prisoners had absconded from North Sea Camp in the previous twelve months, and that a total of 339 had absconded since 1996.[2]

In April 2007, Channel 4 TV's Dispatches documentary series broadcast film secretly recorded at North Sea Camp by a prisoner, Dafydd Evans.[3] Evans's filming showed prisoners taking drugs and smuggling alcohol. He also demonstrated apparent weaknesses in the prison's security procedures and described the escape of a man with convictions for robbery and arson which he blamed on security failures and collusion by fellow prisoners. Lord Ramsbotham, a former Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales, was quoted in the programme as saying: "It is not secure; it’s under-staffed, it’s under-resourced and you’ve got a lot of people who quite frankly should not be in those conditions. The system of sending people to these places has broken down." Responding to the programme, the Home Office said open prisons played an important role in rehabilitating offenders and all those transferred to such conditions were risk-assessed.[4]

In November 2009, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons stated that North Sea Camp Prison had improved. Inspectors praised the prison's safety record, and the amount of purposeful activity for inmates. However, the report called for the refurbishment of prison buildings and facilities, and further improvements to the prison regime for short-term inmates. Two days before the release of the report, two inmates convicted of rape absconded from North Sea Camp.[5] The two were recaptured less than a week later.[6]

The prison today[edit]

North Sea Camp is an open Category D prison for adult males. Accommodation at the prison comprises 4 units, 2 with multi-occupancy rooms and 2 with single rooms. The prison also has a small terrace of self-contained houses for life sentence prisoners who are coming close to parole.

Activities for inmates include prison education, workshops and laundry. A number of prisoners work outside the prison on day release.

Notable prisoners[edit]

  • Jeffrey Archer in 2001-2002.
  • Gary Hart (guilty of causing the Selby rail crash) in 2003.
  • Jason Salliss (Author of [The Vault], a novel that includes detail of his time while a prisoner at NSC) in 2006.


  1. ^ Historic England. "Monument No. 1119677". PastScape. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Number of prison escapes revealed". 4 August 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Undercover Prisoner". Channel 4. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  4. ^ Foggo, Daniel; Watt, Holly (1 April 2007). "Rapists go early to open prisons". London: The Times. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Praise for jail after pair flee". 3 November 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Rapist absconders back in custody". 4 November 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°56′21.31″N 0°3′49.40″E / 52.9392528°N 0.0637222°E / 52.9392528; 0.0637222