Prison service resignation

One of the Prison Service's most senior managers resigned his post yesterday, becoming the latest penal expert to call for a Royal Commission on crime and punishment to "untangle crime and punishment from the politics of law and order".

In his resignation speech at the Edinburgh/Cambridge Society last night, Dr David Wilson, head of prison-officer and operational training for England and Wales, declared he could no longer be part of a process hijacked by the lowest form of politics, and obsessed with locking more and more people up. As well as the Conservative government, he attacked the media and television programmes such as Crimewatch for their obsession with violent crime and criminals. A Royal Commission would, he said, allow for rational, non-partisan debate, finding solutions that would "develop our nation rather than turn it into a Gulag".