Visiting information

Social visits

At HMP The Verne, Residents are empowered to request who is permitted to visit them and to specify the date in which they would like the visit to take place, meaning their visitors do not need to contact the Prison to book themselves.

To achieve this, the Resident must submit a Visits Application Form to the Security Department, clearly listing the names, ages and home addresses of their prospective visitors. A security check will be completed to ensure visitors are cleared to visit the Resident.

Once an application has been approved, the form is passed to the Business Hub to generate an e-mail confirmation of the visit, which will contain an electronic copy of the Visiting Order (please see below). The visit is subsequently booked on the C-NOMIS system,

Visits Applications must be in the Security Department 3 working days before the visit is due to take place or the application will be rejected and the visit will not take place.

Visiting Orders

A Visiting Order (VO) is a formal document, which permits visitors passage to enter a prison.

Only visitors whose full name appears on a Visiting Order will be permitted entry into the Prison. There is no exception to this rule.

If upon receiving the Visiting Order via e-mail, you note that any names are listed or spelt incorrectly, you must contact the Social

Visits e-mail address (below) immediately. Issues with Visiting Orders cannot be rectified on the day of the visit and could lead to cancellation.

Social visits times

Tuesday:  14:00 to 16:00
Wednesday: 14:00 to 16:00
Saturday: 14:00 to 16:00
Sunday:14:00 to 16:00

There are no visits on Christmas Day.

Identification required

Visitors are required to provide the following forms of identification to be allowed passage into visits:

One of the following documents;

  • Passport, including foreign passports and travel documents recognised by Her Majesty's Government (please see Justice.gov.uk for more information).
  • European Community Identity Card
  • Photographic Driving License (including paper counterpart, where applicable)

or

Two of the following documents;

  • Birth/Marriage Certificate
  • Rail/Bus Pass (must have photograph ID)
  • Employer's ID or Student Card (must have photograph)
  • Young Person's Proof Of Age Card (must have photograph)
  • Trade Union Membership Card
  • Senior Citizen Travel Pass (issued by local authority)
  • Benefits Book
  • UK Border Agency ARC Card (asylum support application registration card).
  • SAL (Standard Acknowledgement Letter)
  • Utility Bill (clearly stating name and fixed address)

No property at social visits

Please note that no property can be handed over to Residents or left at the Prison during Social Visits.

Enquiries regarding visits

If you have any enquiries or issues regarding the booking of Social Visits, please do not hesitate to contact the Social Visits e-mail address:socialvisits.theverne@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

We are committed to provide a response to your e-mail within 24 hours. Please note that we do not accept any bookings or amendments to booking via this e-mail address; both types of changes have to be applied for by Residents themselves.

Legal visits

Booking

Legal Representatives must pre-book to visit their client in Prison. This is achieved by e-mailing the Legal Visits E-Mail Address:
legalvisits.theverne@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

In this e-mail, the following information must be specified:

  • Visiting Legal Representative’s Title and Full Name
  • Visiting Legal Representative’s Date Of Birth
  • Full registered name and street address of Legal Representative’s law firm or agency

Legal visits must be booked 24 hours prior to the prospective visit date. A response will be sent via e-mail confirming the visit has been booked. Legal Representatives must provide a copy of this conformation e-mail on arrival at HMP The Verne.

Legal visits opening times

Tuesday:  9:00 to 11:30; 14:00 to 16:00
Wednesday: 9:00 to 11:30; 14:00 to 16:00
Saturday:14:00 to 17:00
Sunday:14:00 to 17:00

There are no visits on Christmas Day.

Lockers are available for personal items; a refundable £1 coin is required for use. We have secure areas available for luggage, prams and buggies. Please speak with staff at the North Gate on arrival, for assistance.

Entering the prison

Visitor biometric and personal data collection

All Legal, Social and Domestic visitors will be required to adhere to our searching procedures and entry administration procedures. Staff at the Prison recognise that this is not always a comfortable experience for some visitors and will therefore make every attempt to ensure this necessary process is conducted seamlessly and professionally for all who visit the prison.
When we ask you for personal information, including biometric data (such as facial images, fingerprints, and/or DNA) we ensure that:

You know why we need it. This information is used at the end of each visits session to verify and identify the correct visitor has left the Prison.

We only ask for what we need and don’t collect too much or irrelevant information.

We protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t.

We only share it with other organisations when it is lawful to do so.

We don’t keep it longer than necessary. All biometric information recorded is deleted from the system at the end of each day.

We have a process in place so that you can request to see what personal data we hold for you. Staff will be happy to show you what’s recorded on the screen, should you request to see your own information.

In occasional ases, we collect and process personal information for the exercise of our own and associated public functions. These include:

  • Investigating an offence, preventing, detecting or prosecuting a crime.
  • Securing the UK border and controlling immigration.
  • Considering applications to enter and stay in the UK.
  • Addressing visa matters and checking immigration status.
  • Managing customs functions at the border.
  • Keeping the UK safe from the threat of terrorism.

We may also use information we hold about you to:

  • Assist in verifying your identity.
  • Fulfil other legal requirements.

Searching procedure

All visitors may be subject to a search prior to entry in to the Prison. Staff recognise this can be an unsettling experience for visitors, however this is a mandatory process for both Legal and Social visitors, prior to entry in to the Prison. There is a requirement to search all visitors who are fourteen year old and over. On occasion, a passive drug detection dog may be working in the visits area.

Search process:

  • Visitors will book in and have any property and cash processed by the visits staff.
  • Visitors will have their biometric information taken for the duration of the visit.
  • Visitors will be taken to a searching booth where a member of staff will conduct a search of the visitor. This will involve a low level physical contact with the body.
  • Visitors may be asked to remove their foot wear for examination by staff.
  • Any un-authorized items found to be trafficked in to the prison, may be removed and referred to the local Police.

Video Link

Video Link is currently unavailable at HMP The Verne.

Travel

Bus: Take Service 1 or Service 10 from Weymouth Esplanade to Old Police Station Portland (Verne Common Road). There is a further 15-20 min walk required up a steep hill to reach The Verne.

Alternatively, visitors can use the bus service above and alight at Victoria Square. There is a taxi rank in Victoria Square for the remainder of the journey.

Train: Alight at Weymouth Train Station. Additional transport will be required for the further 7 miles to The Verne.

Car: Take the A354 from Dorchester, through Weymouth to Portland. After Victoria Square on Portland, take a left turn onto Verne Common Road and follow the winding road up to the Prison, through the stone tunnel.

If the main car park and visitor bays are full, there is additional parking at the top of the hill, towards the radar dome.

Taxi: Weyline Taxis (Opposite Weymouth Train Station) offer competitive, fixed-rate travel to HMP The Verne. There is also a taxi rank in Victoria Square on Portland (please see the bus section, above).

Property storage for visitors

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service

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