Biggs under police watch

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Train robber Ronnie Biggs is to get the sort of offender management normally reserved for Britain's most dangerous murderers, on his release from jail.

The decision to classify Biggs, 79, as subject to the highest-level protection arrangement means that he could be placed under police surveillance on leaving prison, despite being barely able to walk after a series of strokes.

The change in his status is revealed in a "restricted" document from the Ministry of Justice seen by The Independent on Sunday. The document emerged after a parole meeting last week that brought Biggs a step closer to leaving prison, officers describing his risk of reoffending as low due to the "significant decline in his health". On his release, Biggs will be allowed to sleep away from his home only in "exceptional circumstances".

His son Michael reacted angrily to the news. "Somebody will have to waste their time looking after a sick and weak old man rather than using resources to target the paedophiles, terrorists and rapists that are a threat to society," he said.