Kirkham Prison
robbers broke into the prison to steal cigarettes

It is one of places in the world that most people cannot wait to get out of, but it would seem that, if there is a good enough reason, some people will actually break into a prison too.

In one of the most bizarre heists yet, a gang of thieves climbed a fence and even attacked officers with water hoses to get their hands on £8,000 worth of tobacco from Kirkham Prison, near Preston in Lancashire.

Prison staff at the Category D open jail were left baffled and stunned after the gang made off with the cigarettes from the prison's DHL workshop, which is used by the courier firm to store supplies for other units.

According to The Mirror newspaper, a prisoner insider said: "Normally, the inmates can't wait to get OUT of here... so having the opposite happen has caused much mirth.

"One theory is it was an inside job. At night, security is pretty non-existent. There are not enough prison ­officers to check the whole ­perimeter," he said.

Meanwhile, another prisoner who believes that the robbery was an inside job branded the theft as "hilarious" and told The Derby Telegraph: "How can they be expected to keep the prisoners in if they can't keep the burglars out?"

This is not the first time criminals have dodged prison staff to make off with valuable goods. Earlier this year, burglars broke into Sudbury Prison in Derbyshire and stole £1,000 of tools from a workshop.

Prison officials are now examining CCTV footage in a bid to identify the intruders. Police are continuing their investigations.