Huntingdon: Prisoner escapes on the way to court

A MANHUNT was launched in Huntingdon last week after a prisoner escaped from the back of a custody van on the way to court. The Hunts Post has been told the prisoner was not wearing handcuffs and was in the back of an unlocked van when he escaped on We

A MANHUNT was launched in Huntingdon last week after a prisoner escaped from the back of a custody van on the way to court.

The Hunts Post has been told the prisoner was not wearing handcuffs and was in the back of an unlocked van when he escaped on Wednesday (February 17).

Cambridgeshire police has confirmed it was called with a report that 21-year-old man had escaped from a prison van at about 4.18pm.

The force sent officers on foot, in patrol cars and used the police helicopter to search from the sky above Huntingdon Law Courts in Walden Road (ring road) to help capture the prisoner.

The man was being transported from Cambridge Crown Court to Huntingdon Law Courts by G4S Care and Justice Services when he escaped.

It is believed he made a run for it after escaping out of the back of the van while it was stopped in traffic between Hartford and Huntingdon.

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When the G4S staff discovered the prisoner had escaped, they raised the alarm and phoned the police.

The man was back in custody within half-an-hour and was found just over a mile away from the court in Hall Close, Hartford.

No other prisoners were inside the van at the time.

A source told The Hunts Post the man had not been handcuffed and he simply opened the back door of the van and got out.

A spokesman for G4S said prisoners were not normally handcuffed while in transit, but added that the handcuffs were refitted once they were removed from the van.

The company spokesman said an internal investigation had been launched.

"This is not a common occurrence and we are investigating how it happened," she said.

She could not confirm if the van had been left unlocked.

"I do not know," she said. "The investigation will determine what happened."

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