CRIME IN PRISONS: PCCs present hard-hitting report to Government
Police and Crime Commissioners in the West Midlands region are
presenting a report to Government, following a six-month study into
organised crime in prisons.
'Crime in prisons: where now and where next?' was commissioned
by Police and Crime Commissioners from the West Midlands,
Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia.
Prisons are profitable marketplaces, encouraging the widespread
presence of drugs and allowing criminals to manage organised crime
gangs from behind bars.
The study identified key issues within the prison system
including the widespread presence of drugs and the ability to
manage organised crime from behind bars.
Professor James Treadwell from Staffordshire University and Dr
Kate Gooch from the University of Leicester, were appointed to
carry out this in-depth research and present solutions on how to
tackle rising crime in the prison system.
Over a six-month period, they spoke to prisoners, prison
governors, staff and multiple agencies throughout the West Midlands
This multi-agency approach led to the development of a five key
recommendations to address the deep-rooted problems which currently
exist in the West Midlands prison system.
The findings of the study show how better information sharing
between organisations has a significant impact on tackling
criminality behind bars.
An information sharing pilot, trialled at HMP Dovegate* in
Staffordshire, exposed prison staff who had links with organised
crime groups and visitors who were trafficking drugs into the
A key recommendation of the report is the increased information
sharing between the Police and the prison service, including
allowing prisons access to the National Police Database.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson
said: "I welcome this report on the pressing issue of
organised crime in prisons.
"The report has assisted in identifying an approach to
collectively tackle organised crime gangs which are embedded in our
"We can only tackle this issue by working together. Criminality
in prisons impacts all agencies, the local community and it impacts
on vulnerable people.
"I encourage Government to acknowledge the good work which
has taken place in the West Midlands and recommend this approach is
adopted nationally, to tackle criminality behind bars".
The key recommendations of the report focus on five areas
- Preventing vulnerable people from being used as mules to
traffic contraband into the criminal estate
- Share intelligence to prevent organised crime gang corruption
in the recruitment process
- Take money from organised criminals who profit from the prison
The recommendations will be carried out by a working group,
involving key organisations in the West Midlands.
For further details on the five-point plan and to read the full
report, please click here.
* Dovegate identified a woman visitor as a drugs trafficker,
who was visiting numerous inmates and was then banned. A
member of staff was also identified as having links to organised
crime and had previously been arrested for conspiracy in relation
to crack cocaine. She has since been dismissed.