SOME prisoners are being sent out of Essex due to a “population issue” in Chelmsford.

The Echo understands that some people remanded in custody by Southend magistrates last week have been sent to jails as far away as Bedford.

The prison service said there was not an issue with receiving offenders at Chelmsford, but a spokeswoman clarified that some offenders were being sent to other centres as part of a “management of the prison population”, a “common” move.

The Ministry of Justice closed a wing at Chelmsford Prison last year.

A Prison Service statement said: “We have enough space to accommodate all offenders.

"We continue to modernise the prison estate so it delivers best value for the taxpayer, and are building house-blocks for 1,260 prisoners across four prisons and a 2,100-place prison in Wrexham.”