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House of Commons Hansard
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Prisons (Muslim Gangs)
23 March 2010
Volume 508
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12. What recent assessment he has made of the extent of the operation of Muslim gangs in prisons. [323395]

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We take the issue of gangs and security in prison very seriously. We work with our law enforcement partners, including the police and others, to identify and manage risks to safety, order and control.

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A former Muslim inmate has said:

“Muslims run the prisons and there’s nothing screws can do about it”.

After 13 years of Labour, this tired Government are making things worse. Does the Minister agree that things cannot go on like this and that it is time for change?

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It is complete nonsense to say that Muslim gangs, or any gangs, run prisons. Our prisons are run by the National Offender Management Service and by the staff. We have prison intelligence networks that can identify threats to order and control, and we have ways of ensuring that such threats are tackled effectively. We are doing that as well now as we ever have in the whole 13 years of this Government.

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Does my hon. Friend agree that the most important thing is to monitor, and when necessary act against, groups that fall under the influence of Salafist ideology, particularly when they are associated with groups such as al-Qaeda?

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I agree with my right hon. Friend, and I can tell him and the House that such activity does go on in our prisons. The statement quoted by the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone) is sheer nonsense.