Residents have spoken of what it’s like to live in the shadow of one of Britain’s most notorious prisons.
HMP Wakefield houses some of the country’s most dangerous criminals, but despite this, locals describe the area as “very nice”.
Living next door to a prison that houses rapists, murderers and serial killers can seem like nightmares for most people.
In some cases, residents living in the surrounding areas of Love Lane near the city center have had to barricade themselves in their homes for an unknown reason.
A retired shopkeeper, who has lived in the area for 38 years said Yorkshire Live: “Once there was an incident where we were not allowed to leave the house.
“Something happened and they didn’t tell us what it was.
“They closed everywhere, the roads around here and the main roads.”
He said that in general though: “We never hear anything.
“The local community here, which is old like me, is very good.
“The people we know are very friendly.”
And that seems to be the sentiment of most who live in the Marlborough Street area, where the houses are about ten feet away from the imposing beige wall.
One man Connor Kerrigan, 25, a computer scientist who has lived nearby for just over a year, even described the huge wall in the prison as “very cool”.
Connor, originally from York and working in Leeds, loves walking Brooke’s Golden Retriever around the prison and seeing the sights while admiring the prison wall.
Connor said: “With it being close to a prison, you might first think it would be rough, but it’s definitely safer than you’d think actually.
“I think the high wall is very nice, to be fair.
“It’s not something you see every day – well, I see it every day now.
“I thought I might, now and again, hear the prisoners out and about, but I never heard anything.”
Connor said that since moving in, he has really grown to love the friendly neighborhood and the comfort of his home.
“You’re on the doorstep of the city, but still quite far from the city center. You see a combination of everything here,” he said.
“It’s very friendly here actually and everyone is willing to chat, no nasty characters.
You’d think people would talk about prison more, but I didn’t hear anyone mention it.
“I think it unfairly gets a bad rap, some of the roads are a bit rough, but it’s an up and coming area.
“And we have the big shopping complex and stuff.
“Don’t always believe what you hear.
“Definitely come check it out before you decide.”
Police officer and dad Adam Hussein, 32, has concerns about young offenders being housed nearby after being released from prison.
Adam said: “It’s okay, I’ve lived here all my life. I never learned anything different.
“You just become immune to it [the prison]I assume.
“It’s gotten worse over time, with some of the residents who live around here.
“Different people. It’s gotten messier.
“There are ex-convicts living around there who smoke weed.
“If you smell cannabis in a community, it’s not crack, to be fair.