Guidance

Whitemoor prison

Whitemoor is a men’s high security prison in March, Cambridgeshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Whitemoor

Whitemoor prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 2 of the National Framework for Prisons.

Find out more about visiting someone in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Whitemoor you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • have the required ID with you when you go

Visits to ‘high risk’ and ‘exceptional risk’ prisoners must be booked at least 7 days in advance. All other visits must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Whitemoor.

Contact Whitemoor if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Whitemoor
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Whitemoor is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

You can also register to use the secure video calls service.

Booking line: 01354 602 800
The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm

Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Thursday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Visit durations are 1 hour 15 minute slots within these times.

Booking line number: 01354 602654

The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm

Legal visit times:

  • Tuesday & Wednesday: 8:30am to 9:30am and 9:45am to 10:45am

Getting to Whitemoor

Find Whitemoor on a map

The closest railway station is March, which is about 1.5 miles from Whitemoor. There are no local buses so you will have to walk or get a taxi from the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

Entering Whitemoor

All visitors, aged 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Whitemoor. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (you will need a £1 coin) or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

On arrival, visitors should report to the visitor centre. All other centre facilites are currently unavailable.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

The centre is open daily from 12:15pm.

Family days

There are currently no family days running in line with coronavirus restrictions.

Keep in touch with someone at Whitemoor

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Whitemoor.

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their rooms so they will always have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Whitemoor using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the prisoner, depending on the rules at Whitemoor.

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends need to download the purple visits app, create an account, register all visitors, and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Letters

You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Whitemoor.

All post, apart from legal letters, will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

You can no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post.

If you cannot use the online service, you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:

  • are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
  • do not have a debit card

This will allow you to send money by post.

Gifts and parcels

People in Whitemoor are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Whitemoor for more information on what’s allowed.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, or can order books from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.   For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Whitemoor

As a maximum security prison, Whitemoor is committed to helping men convicted of serious offences make positive use of long sentences. It also works to reduce the risk of reoffending through assessment, work, education and offending behaviour programmes.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Whitemoor has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Whitemoor, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Whitemoor gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.

Accommodation

Around 500 men live at Whitemoor. There are 4 main residential wings (A, B, C and F) plus the specialist Fens unit. All men get their own room.

Sports facilities include a full size sports hall, a weight-training room, fitness suite and an outside astroturf pitch. Prisoners have access to a full programme of classes and activities.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities. These include a strong focus on information and communications technology (ICT), from a foundation level to higher learning with the Open University.

Prisoners can take vocational training in construction trades, including painting, decorating and plastering.

Work is available throughout the prison, including in Whitemoor’s recycling and laundry workshops. Prisoners can also work in desktop publishing and computer refurbishment as part of a restorative justice project with IT Schools Africa.

Whitemoor also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes and non-accredited courses for personal and social development.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Whitemoor

The Ormiston Families team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Whitemoor. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Contact Whitemoor

Governor: Ruth Stephens

Telephone: 01354 602 350
Fax: 01354 602 351
Find out about call charges

Follow Whitemoor on Twitter

Address

HMP Whitemoor
Longhill Road
March
Cambridgeshire
PE15 0PR

See map

Safer custody

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Whitemoor, call the main telephone number and ask to speak to the orderly officer or duty governor.

Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 25 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. New visiting times and booking information added.

  2. Prison moved into National Stage 3 framework and is now preparing to open visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

  3. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  4. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  5. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  6. Updated visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  7. Added legal visits booking and time slot information

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. Updated: HMP Whitemoor visiting times and visiting procedure changes in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  10. Updated information to include confirmation of secure video calls being available at this prison.

  11. First published.