Locations revealed of secret new bail hostels: Is there one near your home?
Bail hostels, like this one in Bristol, are often average residential homes
Ministers today released the postcodes of residential streets where thousands of criminals are being held in bail hostels.
The Ministry of Justice has been repeatedly criticised for paying private firm ClearSprings millions to house the convicts on early release and suspects awaiting trial in residential homes to ease prison overcrowding.
They are free to come and go with only limited supervision. Neighbours are only told about the hostels by letter once they have been given the go-ahead and many in nearby streets do not realise they are there.
But, following pressure to reveal the locations, the Government has published a list of postcode areas, but stopped short of revealing precise street names.
The probation officers' union Napo said there were 'minimal' checks on those staying in the hostels and called for closer supervision of their behaviour.
Assistant General Secretary Harry Fletcher said: 'It's clearly not right if people are doing drugs and committing crime.'
ClearSprings was paid £8.3million to house the suspects and offenders between June 2007 and last November, Parliamentary written answers reveal. The contracts are ongoing.
More than 1,050 offenders given home detention curfew and 1,338 defendants on bail have used the hostels.
Councils criticised the lack of 'genuine consultation' with town halls over the location of the hostels, and accused ministers of 'disregarding' the wishes of residents over where they were located.
Justice Minister David Hanson said a Lewisham bail hostel under review is a 'very poor example'
Residents have forced a review of one of the private bail hostels after complaints of drug use and rising crime.
Families living near the hostel in Lewisham, South-East London, said they were threatened by residents, found syringes in the street and became afraid to let their children play nearby, the BBC said.
Justice Minister David Hanson accepted that the site, which housed four offenders, was a 'very poor example' of the scheme. It is now empty and its future under review.
He said: 'I'm not going to defend the situation in Lewisham. It was a very poor example of the scheme not working.'
Mr Hanson added: 'The security of the public remains paramount. Anyone who poses a risk to the public will continue to be held on remand.
'Anyone accused of sexual offences, arson and those who pose a threat to staff, other residents or the public are not housed in these properties.
'The Government remains committed to ensuring that ClearSprings are reminded of the importance of fulfilling their obligations to consult with local authorities, the police and probation.'
This list of towns shows how no area of the country has escaped the controversial bail hostels provided by ClearSprings.
Birmingham: B18, B21, B67, B69
Blackburn: BB2, BB9, BB10, BB11
Bolton: BL1, BL2, BL8, BL9
Bournemouth: BH8, BH10
Bristol: BS5, BS16, BS24
Cardiff: CF3, CF5, CF11
Cleveland: TS4, TS5, TS17, TS18
Derby: DE22, DE23
Doncaster: DN5, DN7, DN17, DN32
Dudley: DY1, DY2, DY4
Greater London: CR7, E17, E6, E9, EN8, IG1, N12, N18, N22, N9, SE23, SE25, SE6, SW16, UB1
Hemel Hempstead: HP12
Ipswich: IP4 2
Leeds: LS7, LS8, LS12
Leicester: LE2, LE3, LE4
Liverpool: L7, L11, L14, L21
Llandudno: LL11, LL13
Luton: LU2, LU3, LU4
Manchester: M18, M24, M26
Medway: ME1, ME4, ME7
Milton Keynes: MK14
Newcastle: NE4, NE24, NE32, NE63
Newport: NP19, NP20
Northampton: NN1, NN2, NN3, NN5, NN18
Norwich: NR1, NR5, NR6
Nottingham: NG2, NG6, NG7
Peterborough: PE2, PE4
Plymouth: PL2, PL4
Portsmouth: PO2, PO4
Preston: PR1, PR2
Reading: RG1, RG2, RG6
Romford: RM8, RM10, RM13
Sheffield: S45, S65, S75
Southampton: SO15, SO18
Stoke-on-Trent: ST3, ST4, ST5, ST6
Sunderland: SR3, SR4
Wakefield: WF1, WF2, WF9, WF13
Warrington: WA10, WA4
Wigan: WN2, WN7, WN8
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