Jail locks changed after alert

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TWO high-security jails were yesterday revealed to be at the centre of breakout scares. Locks had to be replaced in a six-day operation at Maidstone jail in Kent after a tip-off about a possible breakout, a Prison Service spokesman said. And a replica key was found during a three-day search at another Kent prison, Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey, also after a tip-off.

New locks were installed at Maidstone prison - which houses killer Winston Silcott - reportedly after the seizure of key impressions from a driver stopped in Staffordshire. The operation cost up to pounds 500,000, according to the Sunday Mirror. The Prison Service spokesman said: "It followed information received that there was a possible key compromise. The regimes were slightly curtailed in terms of some of the educational activities. but in general the prison ran normally."