>> 5 May 2008

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stuart Pratt has strongly criticised Lib Dem member Sam Coull for his astonishing attack on the police and local prison officers in today's Press & Journal.

Commenting, Councillor Pratt said:

"Sam Coull's comments amount to little more than an attack on the police and local prison staff. For him to question whether the existence of Peterhead prison is putting the safety of children at risk is quite simply a slap in the face to the 200-plus dedicated prison staff who spend their lives making this country a safer place by working to address offending behaviour.

"These officers live in the local community and to even suggest that they might be a party to anything that is going to have an adverse effect on public safety in their own community is deplorable. Sam Coull should apologise to these hard working prison officers.

"In spite of attending and speaking at the march and rally organised by prison officers to save the prison a few years ago, Sam Coull has spent the intervening years trying to denigrate the good work that goes on within the walls and attempting to whip up public concern about sex-offenders.

"He will fail in his attempt because local people can see through such a transparent, politically-motivated move. The prison staff have the respect of the people of Peterhead who know that they are doing tough but necessary job."

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