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Prevention needed to stop extreme 'terrorist views'

Speaking to BBC Panorama Justice minister Jeremy Wright discussed the threat of Islamic radicalisation behind bars in Britain by saying they should be prevented from inflicting their extreme views on others:

The police and security services do a difficult but important job making sure some of the most dangerous terrorists in this country end up where they belong - behind bars.

Once there, we must make sure they cannot inflict their extreme views on others.

The challenge that our prison staff face should not be underestimated but the public can be reassured - we are committed to tackling extremism."

– Justice minister Jeremy Wright

'Significant threat' of Islamic radicalisation behind bars

There is a "significant risk" of Islamic radicalisation behind bars the head of the prison and probation service has told BBC Panorama.

There is a "significant risk" of Islamic radicalisation behind bars says the National Offender Management Service of England and Wales. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Michael Spurr the chief executive of the National Offender Management Service of England and Wales (NOMS) told the programme:

"There is a significant risk, given the fact that we manage some very dangerous people.

"Our job is to minimise that risk becoming a reality - that somebody in prison becomes radicalised and commits a terrorist offence."

Over the last ten years the number of Muslims in prisons in England and Wales has doubled, with the figure reaching 11,729 in 2013.

There are about 100 al-Qaida-inspired Islamist terrorists behind bars.


Coalition split over knife crime punishment

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are at loggerheads over proposals to tighten up the law on knife crime.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling wants to bring in an automatic six-month jail term for anyone convicted of a second crime involving a knife.

The Tory Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, wants to increase prison sentences for knife crime. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

But the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, is concerned that the move would be expensive and put too much pressure on prison places.

A leaked letter from Mr Alexander to Nick Clegg, published in the Daily Mail, says:

‘It is very hard to see how it could be afforded. The Treasury does not support this amendment and I am not willing to clear it."

MP: Triple murderer 'should not be paid anything'

The triple murderer awarded £815 because his nose hair clippers were broken by a prison guard "should not be paid anything", a Conservative MP told Good Morning Britain.

Nadine Dorries dubbed Kevan Thakrar's claim "quite bizarre" and "difficult to either believe or understand".

"If you or I lose our personal possession we don't have a claim for £800 to repay us. And most of this payment was made because a prison officer failed to apologise because he was stressed over losing his belongings."

Prison guard says Thakrar compensation 'pathetic'

A prison guard who was injured in an attack by convicted murderer Kevan Thakrar, has hit out at a court's decision to award the inmate £815 compensation for damage to his possessions, including a nose hair trimmer.

Thakrar, 26, admitted attacking the guards but a court cleared him of two counts of attempted murder and three of wounding with intent after he claimed he had been acting in self-defence.

Craig Wylde, who suffered a severed artery and damaged nerves in the attack, told the Daily Mail

It is another case of the prisoner getting everything and the real victims getting nothing.

He is always trying it on. This is the sort of person he is. He has to complain about everything and thinks he's a big man because he's challenging the system. This latest claim will have cost thousands and thousands of taxpayers' money. It is just totally pathetic."


Murderer awarded £815 for broken nose clippers

A triple murderer has been awarded £815 in compensation after prison guards broke his nose hair trimmer.

Kevan Thakrar, 26, sued prison officials, claiming he had been "stressed" by the loss of "priceless possessions" including photographs, letters and a carton of fruit juice.

Kevan Thakrar is serving a life sentence for murder. Credit: PA

He boasted on Facebook that the Government had now "paid up". Of the £815 paid to Thakrar, £500 was reportedly awarded because prison bosses refused to apologise to him.

Thakrar was jailed alongside brother Miran for a gangland-style execution of three men in 2007.

Reducing foreign prisoners 'top priority' for government

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright says the government is "working hard" to reduce the number of foreign criminals in the UK prison system.

The foreign national prisoner population is lower than it was in 2010 and reducing it further is a top priority for this Government.

We are working hard to reduce the numbers in our prison system - in 2012 alone we deported more than 4,500 foreign criminals from the UK."

– Jeremy Wright, Justice Minister

Deport foreign criminals more quickly, govt urged

Foreign nationals make up 13% of the total prison population, the PAC said. Credit: Reuters

A public spending watchdog has demanded action to speed up the Government's "frustratingly poor" record on removing from the UK foreign criminals who are costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.

Too many overseas inmates are still being locked up at public expense as the rate they are sent home has dropped by 14% over the past four years, the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

The committee's chair, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, said: "While more than 1,000 foreign national offenders are deported each quarter, a similar number are convicted, so the overall number of foreign national prisoners stays at the same level of around 11,000 - 13% of the total prison population."

"The agency should work with the Home Office to understand why there are delays in removing foreign national offenders, and tackle the barriers to their removal."

Prison guitar ban questioned by MP

Guitar playing prisoners have been ordered to return their electric and steel-stringed guitars after the Government banned them.

Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West and a guitarist, questioned why the coalition had ordered the return of the guitars despite the potential benefits of music and guitars in rehabilitating offenders.

Kevin Brennan has questioned the ban. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Brennan said: "I don't know about you but I'm quite a big fan of the late Johnny Cash who performed in prisons and Billy Bragg who started the initiative Jail Guitar Doors to provide guitars to those using musical instruments as a means of rehabilitation in prison.

"So why has the Government banned the use of most of these instruments by ordering prisoners to return steel-stringed and electric guitars?"

Responding to the query, Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said the specific reasons of why the guitars were banned were beyond his level of expertise but said he would ensure the restrictions were appropriate.

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