HAMPSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes has spoken out about a 69 per cent increase in prison suicides.

He said: “It is tragic that suicides in custody appear to have increased so significantly in the past year.

“As a society, it is in all of our interests to find more effective ways of ensuring that victims of crime receive support and justice, while making sure that perpetrators receive appropriate, cost-effective and constructive punishments and interventions that deter them from reoffending in the future.

“With the High Sheriff of Hampshire, I recently held the Winchester Conference on Reducing Reoffending.

This resulted in a series of recommendations that have been enshrined in a White Paper that was presented to the Justice Select Committee by Steve Brine MP, and has resulted in policy revision. One key recommendation was that the Government should evaluate the spend on custodial sentencing and promote more innovative approaches to reducing reoffending.”