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Criminals Philip Stephenson And Gareth Robinson Escape From Open Prison HMP Kirkham

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Two criminals have escaped from an open prison.

Philip Stephenson, 33, and Gareth Robinson, 24, fled HMP Kirkham in Lancashire together yesterday.

Stephenson was serving a sentence for firearms offences while Robinson was in prison for burglary, Greater Manchester Police said.

police tape

Gareth Robinson and Philip Stephenson

They are believed to have got into a silver Volkswagen Golf before heading to the Oldham area, where they are both originally from.

Detective Chief Inspector John Mazzolai said: "Neither of these men has been seen since they escaped from prison on Saturday.

"They are not to be approached by members of the public, but if anyone sees them or knows of their whereabouts, please contact GMP on 101 immediately. If you would prefer to pass on information anonymously, then you can do this by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"I would also like to remind people that if anyone is found to be assisting or harbouring these wanted men, they too will face being arrested and a possible prison sentence of their own. So please get in touch if you know where they are."

There has been a flurry of controversy over open prisons after a spate of inmates went on the run.

In the most high-profile case, Michael Wheatley, who is known as the "Skull Cracker", carried out a raid on a building society while on the run from HMP Standford Hill in Kent in May.