Turnhout prison tightens security after 5 prisoners escaped by climbing over wall
Monday, 23 December 2019
The prisoners were able to escape during their walk in a courtyard of the prison. Credit: Belga
The security in the Turnhout prison has been tightened after five prisoners managed to escape by climbing over a wall last week.
The mayor of Turnhout, Paul Van Miert, had asked for a meeting with the prison’s management after five detainees managed to escape from prison during their walk last week.
“The prison is in the city centre, and I thought it was outrageous that such a thing could happen. Especially since the prison has recently been renovated. I wanted to know what measures the management had taken to improve security,” said Paul Van Miert, the mayor of Turnhout, reports VRT.
The prisoners were able to escape during their walk in a courtyard of the prison. “There may be a blind spot in the courtyard due to pylons standing there,” the Director-General of the prison system admitted after the escape.
“New lighting has now been added, and it is facing a different direction,” said Van Miert. “The timing for walks has also been adjusted, there is extra surveillance, new barbed wire has been installed and a camera will be added. I’m sure that the prisoners can no longer climb over the wall unseen here. I am glad that the prison has taken measures so quickly,” he added, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
Of the five escaped prisoners, three were immediately arrested again, the two others are still on the run. One of them is Oualid Sekkaki, the younger brother of Ashraf Sekkaki, who is infamous as the ‘escape king’ in Belgium, after he managed to escape the Bruges prison with a helicopter ten years ago.
However, the Turnhout police are no longer actively looking for them, as they believe there is little chance that they are still hiding in the region.