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Prisons: Organised Crime

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) gangs recorded by the Prison Service and (b) other gangs have been identified in each prison in England and Wales. (261340)

The identification of ‘gangs’ in prison is not always straightforward given the loose nature of some affiliations and the inherent difficulties of defining a ‘gang’ separately from other group affiliations. NOMS is currently undertaking scoping work to provide a strengthened response to gangs.

Historically, gang-related issues have been and continue to be managed within the overall framework to manage prisons and provide a safe and decent environment. In some establishments, where gang-related issues are more problematic, governors have started work with local police forces to share information on gang members and gang affiliations. Studies have also commenced into extremist gang-related activities and HMCIP (along with HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Probation) has commenced a thematic review into juvenile gangs, encompassing juvenile gangs in prison and the wider community.