October 26, 2007 12:00 AM

Today (Friday), Jenny Willott and Jenny Randerson, the Welsh Liberal Democrat MP and AM for Cardiff Central, visited Cardiff Prison and spent the afternoon on the beat with Police Community Support Officers.

Commenting, following the Cardiff Prison visit, Jenny Willott MP, said:

"Cardiff Prison is one of the best in the UK. But the Government's failure to react to prison overcrowding has left the prison working at maximum capacity for the last two years and making their jobs increasingly difficult.

"Since 2000, Cardiff Prison has seen its prison population rise by 45% - it is now completely full. This is putting constant and intense pressure on prison staff and threatening to undermine some of the good work they do to tackle the causes of crime.

"We saw today the good work they are doing with education and training - giving prisoners the skills they need to rehabilitate themselves on release and find jobs. The government need to be supporting the good work that is being done and give prisons the resources they need to help reduce re-offending."

Commenting on their afternoon with Cardiff PCSOs, Jenny Randerson AM said:

"Cardiff PCSOs do a marvellous job in assisting Police Officers to tackle crime on our streets. All the evidence suggests that the biggest crime deterrent is a visible police presence.

"But Wales is still looking at a 400 shortfall in the Government's promised number of PCSOs.

"Today we saw first hand that Police officers and PCSOs in Cardiff are dedicated and hard-working.

"Our police officers need to be able to dedicated their time and efforts doing what they do best - building links in the local communities and tackling the fear of crime. To do this, we need to set our police officers free from excessive paperwork and give them the time to get on with their job."

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